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New York Legal Information Topics, Discussions and Information relating to Legal Information specific to the State of New York. This information is *NOT PROFESSIONAL* and should always be fact-checked!

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Old 11-30-2018, 09:59 AM
Tatiana_ivelise Tatiana_ivelise is offline
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Default After 18 years in prison, is getting an Evidentiary hearing a good thing?

Hello. I don’t know much about the law so if anyone has any answers I would be so appreciative. Is it necessarily a good thing if after 18 years of being incarcerated and you always maintained your innocence and got a date for
Evidentiary hearing? is that a step in the right direction? He was sentenced to life in prison.
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:47 AM
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Yes. Usually things are well settled by 18 years into anything but a death sentence. By 18 years, his direct appeal is done and all that’s left is a habeas petition. habeas at this point can only be accomplished successfully by challenging the conviction based on Ineffective Assistance of Counsel (IAC) or New Evidence. The basic idea for New Evidence is that if the evidence existed at the time of trial, he wouldn’t have been convicted (and may never have been charged in the first place). I’d kinda assume that’s the direction he’s going, so he needs actual, new evidence - evidence that wasn’t discoverable at the time of trial - to have that evidence considered by the court in relationship to the evidence shown at trial. So, that’s the evidentiary hearing - what is the evidence, when was it discovered, how was it discovered, was it available at the time of the orginal trial.

IAC could also be a possibility. If that’s the case, the evidence to be considered by the court is whether the attorney acted appropriately. It could be as simple as determining if something was left out of a trial because it was trial strategy (effective counsel) or if it was left out because the attorney didn’t do his job. So, for example, if the defense put on absolutely no evidence, the reason for it is relevant to the question of IAC. If it was because of strategy - not thinking that the State proved its case and the judge wouldn’t even give it to the jury, or any of the myriad of reasons an attorney might not put forth a defense - then it’s not IAC. If, however, it was because the attorney forgot about the trial and didn’t have time, then possibly IAC. It should be remembered that Convictions have been upheld despite IAC claims when attorneys slept through parts of trials, we busted for DUI coming back to court after lunch, or were tax attorneys trying their first criminal case - a death penalty case.

But, generally, the evidentiary hearings are good - it means that the concern is significant enough that the judge actually wants to explore the issue.
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Old 12-01-2018, 02:50 AM
Tatiana_ivelise Tatiana_ivelise is offline
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Thank you. I have a better understanding now.
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