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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Legal Ethics Dilemma: Should the Innocent Remain in Prison?

There is a big debate going on over at the Volokh Conspiracy about the legal ethics problem below. What does a Catholic legal theory perspective add to the debate? What would you do, as a Catholic lawyer with a duty of confidentiality to your client?

From CBS news:
Alton Logan doesn't understand why two lawyers with proof he didn't commit murder were legally prevented from helping him. They had their reasons: To save Logan, they would have had to break the cardinal rule of attorney-client privilege to reveal their own client had committed the crime. But Logan had 26 years in prison to try to understand why he was convicted for a crime he didn't commit....

Lawyers Jamie Kunz and Dale Coventry were public defenders when their client, Andrew Wilson, admitted to them he had shot-gunned a security guard to death in a 1982 robbery. When a tip led to Logan's arrest and he went to trial for the crime, the two lawyers were in a bind. They wanted to help Logan but legally couldn't....

The lawyers did get permission from Wilson, to reveal upon his death his confession to the murder Logan was convicted for. Wilson died late last year and Coventry and Kunz came forward. Next Monday, a judge will hear evidence in a motion to grant Logan a new trial.

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