Welcome to the WVCriminalDefenseAttorney.Com blog. I was inspired to start this blog after diving into the murky depths of the West Virginia criminal justice system in a recent murder trial that I was involved in – which will be detailed in my next post. Most of us never encounter this dark world, except through the occasional speeding ticket. Citizens are rather adamant about opening up and “shining light” on our political process through enacting various “sunshine laws.” However, the same cannot be said for the criminal justice system, which is run by a mixture of politicians, lawyers and law enforcement officers. This assortment of characters wield extreme power, sometimes recklessly, and almost always with no accountability to the people.This is especially true in West Virginia, where we are lacking important safeguards that exist in other states. For example, we have no intermediate court of appeals. This means that our West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals is overloaded with cases and cannot guarantee appeals to all people convicted of crimes. Most West Virginians are unaware of this scary fact: if you are convicted of a crime in West Virginia, you have no right to an appeal. In fact, your first appeal as of right may be to the United States Supreme Court, where the chances of your case being considered are literally zero. And as I plan on detailing in future posts, it actually doesn’t take that much to get a jury to convict an innocent person.Lastly, the goal of this blog is not to drum up business for my criminal defense practice, but rather to inform the people of West Virginia of the “going-ons” of the West Virginia criminal justice system, and to attempt to disinfect some of the dark spots and problem areas of the system by using good old fashioned sunshine. My goal is to encourage reforms in our state to help safeguard innocent citizens from wrongful convictions.
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