Spokane Defendant Who Rejected Lawyer's Advice Beats Death Penalty

You would think that if you were facing a charge as serious as capital murder, you would want to listen to your attorneys.   Well, in the Spokane murder case of State v. Christopher Devlin, the defendant apparently rejected the advice of his lawyers and beat the death penalty anyway.   Devlin is accused of murdering a witness who was expected to testify against him in an earlier assault case.  Devlin rejected the advice of his lawyer and refused to waive the thirty day notice required to seek the death penalty.  A defense lawyer will often seek to waive this to have more time to prepare a defense to the death penalty.  The State did not turn over their evidence in time, and the judge dismissed the death penalty allegation as a sanction on the prosecuting attorney.  See story.  The charge of aggravated murder still stands, and the defendant could still face a possibility of life in prison.  How does a defendant educate themselves on how to defeat a death penalty charge?  A grad-student from Massachusetts has published an online guide on eHow.com of all places.  See site.

Anyway, I am sure the defense lawyers breathed a sigh of relief when the death penalty allegation was dropped.  And it may be the case that the prosecutors breathed a sigh of relief too.  It was never really clear whether the alleged offense took place in Stevens County or Spokane County, and neither county wanted to bear the incredible expense of conducting a death penalty case.  See news segment below. The Stevens County Prosecuting Attorney, facing budget problems, flat out stated that he did not want the case. The defense lawyers wanted it moved out of Spokane.

Post by Steve Graham, Defense Lawyer.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR….
Steve Graham is a criminal defense lawyer, and he splits his time between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. Visit his website by clicking: www.grahamdefense.com
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