How Bad Lawyering Advances Wrongful Conviction: The Case of Jamel Parker

We place tremendous emphasis on prosecutorial tunnel vision, and rightly so. However, bad lawyering by defense counsel rarely ever attract the same condemnation. Bad representation contribute significantly to incidences of wrongful convictions or miscarriage of justice, except that it hardly get mentioned. As Jamel Parker picks up the pieces of his appeal and plans to challenge his conviction, an important lesson needs to be learnt: that good representation is key to the fair dispensation of justice. I think this is a shared responsiblity. It lies not only with the accused person, it behooves the bench at every stage of the trial to ensure that an accused person is getting the best at every stage of the trial. Again, lax professional conduct rules; the failure of disciplinary boards to take seriously complaints by clients of bad lawyering, play a major role.  We hope that Jamel’s second bite of the cherry (his proposed appeal) will ensure that all the facts and law are properly placed before a judge and jury. Read more here

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