Archive for Monday, August 16, 2010

Suspect ID at heart of robbery appeal

A Kansas inmate is appealing to the state supreme court for a new trial in a gas station robbery case. The hearing is scheduled for September 15.

August 16, 2010

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Charles E. Smith, 59, was convicted in Douglas County for a 2006 robbery of the Presto convenience store, 2330 Iowa. However, an appeals court ordered a new trial for Smith based on ineffective assistance of counsel. The Kansas Supreme Court will hear the case in September.

Charles E. Smith, 59, was convicted in Douglas County for a 2006 robbery of the Presto convenience store, 2330 Iowa. However, an appeals court ordered a new trial for Smith based on ineffective assistance of counsel. The Kansas Supreme Court will hear the case in September.

A Kansas inmate convicted of robbery in Douglas County will make his case for a new trial in front of the Kansas Supreme Court on Sept. 15.

In 2007, a jury found Charles E. Smith, 59, guilty of robbing the Presto convenience store, 2330 Iowa, in November 2006. Smith was sentenced to 57 months in prison for the robbery.

However, in 2009 the Kansas Court of Appeals ordered a new trial based on Smith’s claims that his Sixth Amendment rights to effective counsel had been violated. The claims stem from a conflict between Smith and his court-appointed attorney, James Rumsey. Prior to trial, Rumsey asked Douglas County Judge Jack Murphy to be removed from the case, while Smith also asked for a new attorney, according to court documents.

Rumsey’s request was based on his viewing of the store surveillance video, which he believed showed Smith as the robber. Smith claimed the man in the video was not him, and asked Rumsey to pursue a mistaken identity defense. Rumsey, meanwhile, said he couldn’t put Smith on the stand and elicit testimony that he knew was false, since he believed the video depicted Smith. The request for a new attorney was denied and formed the basis for the appeal.

Meryl Carver-Allmond, an attorney from the Kansas Appellate Defender’s Office who is representing Smith, said that another attorney may have viewed the video differently.

“The video is of such poor quality that it’s hard to see anything more than the basic characteristics of the robber,” she said.

After the appeals court ordered a new trial, the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office and the Kansas Attorney General filed an appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court. Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said the judge acted properly in not appointing Smith a new attorney, and that Smith received a fair trial.

Comments

Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 7 months ago

Gee this sound strikingly Similar to the yellow house case that's been going on for 5 going on 6 years......

ineffective counsel

Alceste 4 years, 7 months ago

Where does "attorney" Rumsey get off having the arrogance to make such a request? Does he not subscribe to the U.S.A.'s Sixth Amendment? Does he not believe that every person has the right to the most aggressive defense imaginable?

The article above notes "Rumsey’s request was based on his viewing of the store surveillance video, which he believed showed Smith as the robber." Ummm....did Mr. Rumsey not trouble himself to view the video just as soon as he was assigned to the case? Or, did Mr. Rumsey wait to view that video just before trial? Does Mr. Rumsey think he is above the "luck of the draw" (client wise) with respect to being Court appointed counsel and such? Is this matter a prime example of the real reality that Court appointed legal counsel is a joke in America? Was Mr. Rumsey's request more centered around Mr. Smith's past record? Or, perhaps, it had to do with what the Douglas County Court system was paying him for the case.....Mr. Rumsey, perhaps, thinking his time was too valuable to defend an indigent?

Mr. Smith has been no choir boy. See for yourself. He is KDOC # 0039293 and one can take a look by going here: http://www.dc.state.ks.us/kasper Mr. Smith has been, evidently, well known to the criminal "justice" circles in these here parts from the look of the KDOC record. On the other hand, from the data off of the KDOC site, it appears that Mr. Smith just may be one of the many whose mental health needs have gone neglected by our ever so wonderful "world class Bert Nash Mental Health facility".....

Sigmund 4 years, 7 months ago

"Prior to trial, Rumsey asked Douglas County Judge Jack Murphy to be removed from the case, while Smith also asked for a new attorney, according to court documents." and; "Rumsey, meanwhile, said he couldn’t put Smith on the stand and elicit testimony that he knew was false, since he believed the video depicted Smith."

If Smith insisted on testifying and Rumsey believed he would commit perjury on the stand, Rumsey could not ethically be a party to that. Under these circumstances Murphy should have allowed Rumsey to withdraw and appointed new counsel. One of the very few times I would have disagreed with Murphy and agreed with Rumsey.

Alceste 4 years, 7 months ago

cheeseburger (anonymous) replies: "If Smith insisted on testifying and Rumsey believed he would commit perjury on the stand, Rumsey could not ethically be a party to that."

Huh? "Commit perjury" by pleading NOT GUILTY or denying he did the crime to the jury? Rumsey, it seems, chose to believe his interpreation of the video rather than the statement(s) of his client (it would seem Smith was/is stating he is NOT GUILTY)?? shrug

Experience teaches that the Courts love deal makers (plea "bargains"); detest the time involved for the real deal (trials: They do tend to get in the way of the planned golf game or 3 hour "power lunch"....); and do whatever must be done to compel an indigent to shut up and let the game be played the way the "big boys" wanna play it. Unless, of course, you got ya a store bought mouth piece; paying top dollar for same. Affiant further sayeth naught.

Sigmund 4 years, 7 months ago

Alceste (anonymous) says… "Huh? "Commit perjury" by pleading not guilty or denying he did the crime to the jury?"

What part of lying on the stand under oath (including denying committing a crime that he committed) is perjury do you not understand? If Rumsey, a very experienced (if flawed) criminal defense attorney had evidence that Smith committed a crime he could not put Smith on the stand if he knew Smith would lie under oath. If Smith agreed not to testify and no chance of perjury existed Rumsey would have had no problem in representing him and attempting to raise reasonable doubt.

Alceste 4 years, 7 months ago

Pardon me, cheesburger, I inadvertantly used your name above when I should have used the name Sigmund.

Sigmund goes on to state: "If Rumsey, a very experienced (if flawed) criminal defense attorney had evidence that Smith committed a crime he could not put Smith on the stand if he knew Smith would lie under oath."

This is not a world of "what if's...."....rather it is a world of is. Perhaps there are facts that the Court has that the public does not have access to, granted. However, the article only refers to Rumsey's viewpoint of the video tape, which another legal mind has determined is too "basic" to really provide any detail. It makes no mention of Rumsey having "evidence". Further, in no way could Rumsey "KNOW" Smith would lie. He might suspect; but he could not KNOW...as no testimony every occurred. "Thinking" something and "knowing" something are two different things, eh?

Please cite instances where perjury charges have been filed after a person who is pleading NOT GUILTY before a Court, testifies, and is then found guilty. From what is being suggested, they're all guilty of perjury: they said they didn't do, a jury says otherwise....so not only are they convicted of the first matter, now they're taken to task for lying in Court by stating they're NOT GUILITY!

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