Kwame Kilpatrick, the former mayor of Detroit, was convicted for public corruption charges. He has argued since the get go that his conviction would not have occurred if he had had a better attorney during the trial phase. His most recent appeal took place last month in front of a panel of three federal appeals judges. The appeal was handled by Kilpatrick’s new attorney and the judges put pressure on the attorney to explain why Kilpatrick believed his previous attorney was to blame for his conviction.
The judges repeatedly asked the attorney whether there was evidence to support this contention. While the prosecution maintains that Kilpatrick would have been convicted regardless of which attorney he had, the former mayors appellate attorney argued this is simply not true.
Mr. Kilpatrick’s appellate attorney is Harold Gurewitz. The appeal took place in the United States Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati. The defense sought to overturn Kilpatricks 2013 conviction for public corruption. In court this past January, Gurewitz argued that Kilpatricks conviction was due to his previous attorney’s mistakes.
In fact, Gurewitz went so far as to state that the previous attorney created a serious, adverse conflict. Gurewitz was allotted a mere twenty minutes to orally argue his client’s case. (This is not unusual as most appeals rest primarily on the attorney’s written briefs and not on their oral arguments.) The argument focused on the issue that a conflict of interest in the former attorney’s own personal affairs created an unacceptable professional bias against his interest in accurately representing Mr. Kilpatrick.
Gurewitz argued that James Thomas, Kilpatricks former attorney, somehow maintained an interest in a law firm that was suing Kilpatrick. While this firm was suing Kilpatrick in civil court, Thomas was defending him in criminal court.
Under the representation of Thomas, Kilpatrick was convicted on the charges of public corruption. Kilpatrick, who is 44 years old, is currently serving a 28 year sentence. His current imprisonment being in El Reno, Oklahoma. Furthermore, Susan Van Dusen sat in the appeal, as well. Van Dusen is the attorney for Bobby Ferguson. Ferguson was convicted under facts very similar to those that landed Kilpatrick in prison.
Ferguson was a contractor, friend, and co-defendant of Kilpatrick, and he is serving a 21-year prison sentence. Essentially, Kilpatrick and Van Dusen were accused and convicted of making improper deals with one another. During Van Dusens appellate arguments, Sixth Circuit judges pressed the attorney to show exactly how the trial court was error.
Van Dusen’s argument was that the District Judge erred by permitting FBI agents to translate texts between Kilpatrick and Ferguson, and that to allow such speculation violated rules of evidence and constitutional rights. After the arguments Gurewitz stated that he was a bit anxious but was pleased that they were prepared and asked a lot of probing questions of both sides.
As always, our team hopes for a resolution that is in the interest of justice. Contact our team today to discuss your appeal.Tags: appeal, appeal lawyers, appeal lawyers federal, appealattorney, appellate attorney, Kwame Kilpatrick
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