Welcome to the Prison Talk Online Community! Take a Minute and Sign Up Today!






Go Back   Prison Talk > RESOURCE CENTER > Prison Legal Help!
Register Entertainment FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Notices

Prison Legal Help! Ask questions, get opinions, and find resources.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-04-2012, 05:19 PM
Allison99 Allison99 is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: somewhere out there
Posts: 98
Thanks: 38
Thanked 35 Times in 24 Posts
Default Are Inmate Lawyers Effective? Opinions please-

Hey all:

My loved one is serving life w/o parole for 2nd degree murder, and is attempting to appeal, with the help of an inmate lawyer. He's in Angola, one of the largest prisons, and one that's got plenty of inmate counsel to weigh in on his case.

But here's MY question....is inmate counsel as effective as 'private' attorneys?! I'm afraid that by not using a 'real' lawyer, he will blow his already remote chance of getting free. He insists the inmate counsel who's helping him has sent other men home, he's been doing law from the inside for 31 years....which to me begs the question: IF THIS INMATE LAWYER IS SO GOOD, WHY IS HE STILL LOCKED UP??!

Any input appreciated!
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-04-2012, 05:32 PM
CenTexLyn CenTexLyn is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: TX-US
Posts: 6,244
Thanks: 51
Thanked 3,441 Times in 2,039 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allison99 View Post
But here's MY question....is inmate counsel as effective as 'private' attorneys?!
I won't speak for Louisiana, but I saw some writ writers on various units during my career with the Texas prison system that could pretty much match the work of some of the good appellate counsel in private practice around the State.

Quote:
which to me begs the question: IF THIS INMATE LAWYER IS SO GOOD, WHY IS HE STILL LOCKED UP??!
No matter how good an appellate attorney is, there are some cases where there simply ARE no legitimate grounds upon which to base an appeal. The real world of practice is not like television where there was almost invariably some loophole that could be found and immediately effect a release or some antique precedent that had somehow never been overturned and that was able to get a conviction set aside. The reality is that some convictions just ARE that airtight.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-04-2012, 09:32 PM
yourself yourself is offline
attorney
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: ma
Posts: 6,521
Thanks: 1,712
Thanked 10,470 Times in 3,821 Posts
Default

I'm going to agree with CenTexLyn on this. There are some really great jailhouse lawyers out there. I'll also point out there are some pretty crappy lawyers out there as well (jailhouse and otherwise).

Now, there are reasons to use a private lawyer as opposed to jailhouse counsel, and they can be many - everything from being able to recover from the attorney if the attorney mishandles the case, or having the ability to raise ineffective assistance of counsel on the appeal should that appeal be mishandled.

My preference is to use a private lawyer when possible. If you have no other recourse, then a jailhouse lawyer may be the only option. The problem, of course, is that a real attorney actually costs money. But, a real attorney should be able to judge the case and tell you if it's worth the time, energy, and money to begin with.

And as CentTexLyn says, there are cases where there are no grounds to win on appeal. People also have the misconception that the more you spend on a case, the more likely the person is to get out/off. That's not the case. There's no threshold level that magically releases somebody. There's no, "well, this person did pay enough for freedom. If only he paid $20,000 instead of $2000...". We're stuck with the facts of the case. We're stuck with how things were presented. And there really are no magical issues of antiquated law that we avoid because people didn't pay enough.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to yourself For This Useful Post:
pipeliner (05-05-2012)
  #4  
Old 05-05-2012, 05:48 PM
fbopnomore fbopnomore is offline
PTO Research Assistant

RA Training 

Donation Award 
 

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 12,548
Thanks: 12,797
Thanked 8,326 Times in 5,080 Posts
Default

Also be careful. I saw some total (and expensive, both monitarily and by damaging the "client's" true standing in the courts) scams run by prisoners who said they were "legal experts" too. There were quite a few real world lawyers in prison with me, so I would always look for one of them with my questions.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to fbopnomore For This Useful Post:
pipeliner (05-05-2012)
  #5  
Old 05-05-2012, 09:09 PM
KamisSister KamisSister is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Texas USA
Posts: 808
Thanks: 182
Thanked 950 Times in 386 Posts
Default

I am no lawyer and do not know all of the details on this, maybe one will elaborate, but you only have a year to appeal some things on the federal level now, something to do with an anti-terrorism bill from 1998, so keep that in mind.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:44 PM.
Copyright © 2001- 2013 Prison Talk Online
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Website Design & Custom vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media
Message Board Statistics