MACDL and NACDL jointly filed an Amicus Brief in the Missouri Supreme Court in support of the efforts of Lamar Johnson and St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner to obtain relief for Johnson on the basis of actual innocence. The amicus brief was written by Kay Parish and Elizabeth Carlyle, with assistance from Hon. Charles Atwell.
MACDL filed an Amicus Brief in support of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. The issue in Bucklew v. Steele, No. 12-10, 430, centered around the right to effective assistance of counsel in clemency proceedings for death row inmates. While certiorari was ultimately denied by the Court, it gave our organization an opportunity to highlight an important issue at the highest level.
MACDL and the amicus committee are always willing to help our members in furthering the goals of our organization to effectively represent criminal defendants in Missouri and strive to improve the criminal justice system.
In keeping with MACDL’s consistent support for constitutional funding for the Missouri State Public Defender System and respect for the constitutional rights of all, MACDL filed an amicus brief in support of adequate funding by the legislature—coupled with legislative self-discipline on the application of the criminal sanction—as the means to resolve the Missouri State Public Defender System’s current fiscal crisis. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled that Public Defender Commission`s rule concerning appropriate caseload quantities was not shown to be invalid or inapplicable and therefore the lower court erred in appointing the public defender in violation of the rule.
MACDL filed an amicus brief in support of Norfolk. Norfolk appealed the circuit court’s denial of his motion to suppress evidence and its overruling his objections to the admission of the evidence seized claiming that the officer lacked probable cause to stop him and check for weapons. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled against Norfolk and found that the circuit court did not err in denying the motion to suppress evidence and in overruling Norfolk’s objections to the admission of evidence seized because the record supported the circuit court’s finding of probable cause to stop Norfolk.
MACDL joined other organizations including NACDL, the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice and the Southern Center for Human Rights as amicus on a brief filed by the Arizona Capital Representation Project in the Arizona Supreme Court. The successful amicus brief was filed in support of William Miller, accused of murder and facing the death penalty, in a case which held that Arizona`s crime victims` rights provisions did not entitle the victims to be present at an ex parte hearing concerning the mitigation investigation.
MACDL filed an amicus brief in support of Tyler McNeely in Missouri Supreme Court. This brief focuses on the seizure of respondants blood as a violation of his fourth amendment rights agaist illegal search and seizure. The Missouri Supreme Court held that the mere fact that blood alcohol disipates over tme, alone, is not an exigency to allow a warrantless blood draw of a driver suspected of DWI. Talmage Newton of Evans and Dixon authored the brief.
MACDL filed an Amicus Brief in support of David Garcia in the Missouri Supreme Court. Mr. Garcia is charged with assault 1st and ACA. The crime allegedly occurred in April 98. Mr. Garcia was not arrested until Feb. 2009. The MACDL Amicus Brief focuses on the constitutional right to a speedy trial. John Davidson of John L. Davidson, P.C. authored the brief.
MACDL filed an amicus brief in support of Carl Smith, a MACDL member, held in contempt of comments made in court in the defense of a client. The Supreme Court discharged Smith, reversing his conviction for criminal contempt. The MACDL amicus brief focused on zeolous advocacy. Talmage Newton of Evans and Dixon authored the brief.
MACDL filed an amicus brief in support of Herbert Smulls’ certiorari petition in the U.S. Supreme Court. Smulls was convicted and sentenced to death by an all white jury in St. Louis County after the prosecutor used a peremptory strike to exclude the only African American venire person. A panel of the Eighth Circuit ruled in Smulls’ favor on the Batson claim in his deferral habeas corpus case, but the Eighth Circuit in bank reversed that decision and denied relief. The MACDL amicus brief focused on the history of giving pretextual reasons for peremptory strikes of minority jurors by members of the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office. Joe Luby of the Public Interest Litigation Clinic in Kansas City authored the brief.