« April 2008 | Main | June 2008 »

May 24, 2008

The Reiser Case was on CBS 48 Hours Tuesday June 3

 UPDATED 6-18-08 --- 

Comments from the Out-Lawer (me, Jay Gaskill, former Alameda Clounty Public Defender), among several other figures (including trial counsel, jurors and witnesses) were featured on a special Tuesday evening Telecast of ¨CBS 48 Hours¨ Mystery. 

Streaming video of that program is still available from CBS at the following link, but you now need to navigate from there to the program, title "Betrayal": http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?channel=48HoursOndemand .  

JBG

May 11, 2008

See you June 3

 

out

As Published On

 

The Out-Lawyer’s Blog: http://www.jaygaskill.com/blog1

 

And

 

The Policy Think Site: http://www.jaygaskill.com

 

All contents, unless otherwise indicated are

 

Copyright © 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 by Jay B. Gaskill

 

Permission to publish, distribute or print all or part of this article (except for personal use) is needed. [Permission for use in group discussions is almost always routinely given.]

 

Please contact Jay B. Gaskill, attorney at law, via e mail at law@jaygaskill.com

 

 

 

 

The Out-Lawyer is away until June 3.

 

Stay tuned...

 

JBG 

May 07, 2008

Hans Reiser and the Platypus Genome

 

 

As Published On
The Out-Lawyer’s Blog: http://www.jaygaskill.com/blog1
And
The Policy Think Site: http://www.jaygaskill.com
All contents, unless otherwise indicated are
Copyright © 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 by Jay B. Gaskill
Permission to publish, distribute or print all or part of this article (except for personal use) is needed. [Permission for use in group discussions is almost always routinely given.]
Please contact Jay B. Gaskill, attorney at law, via e mail at law@jaygaskill.com

 

THE PLATYPUS AND DNA 

 

 

Just in from BBC news.
[Note: All of the excerpted material in quotes below is Copyright 2008 by BBC News.]

 

Link:

http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7385949.stm

 

 

“Scientists have deciphered the genetic blueprint of the duck-billed platypus, one of the oddest creatures on Earth.
“The egg-laying, venomous, duck-billed platypus...
“The animal comes from an early branch of the mammal family, and like mammals it is covered in fur and produces milk. However, it lays eggs like a reptile.
“Dr Chris Ponting, of the MRC Functional Genetics Unit at the University of Oxford, UK, is one of more than 100 researchers from the US, UK and Australia, who took part in the study. He said the platypus was chosen because of its unusual features.

“The platypus is so strange that it was considered a hoax when sent from Australia to European researchers in the 19th Century.

“’It has a very weird appearance because it's a mishmash of the bill of a duck, the eyes of a mole, the eggs of a lizard and the tail of a beaver,’ Dr Ponting told BBC News.
“Dr Mark Batzer, from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, who also worked on the study, said ... ‘One big surprise was the patchwork nature of the genome with avian, reptilian and mammalian features,’ he added.

“They have acute sight, but only open their eyes above water.

“Underwater, they rely on touch and a special sense called electro-reception that allows them to detect tiny changes in the electrical field generated by their prey.”
[][][]

 

Now we know where to look for the body.

 

[][][]

 

venomous

 

More seriously: In the absence of a post-conviction plea bargain (a highly unlikely scenario), there will be an appeal, and I believe that appeal will include allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel. 

Allegations of this sort are common, but rarely succeed. 

If the expected “IAC” allegations (ineffective assistance of counsel) are based on Bill Dubois’ selection of the “platypus mitigation” argument, they will fail. 

In general, defense counsel is charged with the obligation to research the law and the facts, then to make informed tactical decisions in the case, after having given due deference to the client’s wishes.   

A bad tactical decision by the defense – as revealed by the fact that it has failed – is not, in itself a basis to overturn a conviction, as long as it is informed by competent factual investigation and legal research and the decision is one that a reasonably competent defense attorney might make under similar circumstances. 

It is premature, of course, to second guess the Reiser appeal – after all, much depends on events and decisions not yet part of the public record.  But the defense was placed in a complicated, almost impossible situation by nature of the evidence in the case and the unreasonable demands of the client.

This was a situation in which almost any line of defense would present pitfalls, and therefore would be subject to after-the-fact criticism.  It is a mistake to simultaneously attempt to mitigate the culpability of the killer and to deny criminal responsibility.  But … making that attempt in a criminal case is not, ipso facto, “IAC”. 

 

This may well be a case of “ineffective assistance of client.”

Hence this following free advice to Mr. Reiser:  Leave the “lawyering” in your case to the lawyers.  This advice is based on a strong lesson, one that applies to my fellow attorneys, to wit:  Even a lawyer who represents him or herself has a fool for a client.

 

 

JBG

 


Hosting by Yahoo!