In our last post we discussed a successful appeal of a Utah child sex abuse conviction. Successful appeals can be based on a variety of factors such as errors in legal reasoning at the trail court level, prosecutorial misconduct, or ineffective assistance of defense counsel.
Criminal appeals based on ineffective assistance of counsel are among the hardest types of appeals to win. There is a strong presumption that a person’s trial attorney gave effective legal assistance. Individuals appealing on this basis also have the additional burden of proving that they wouldn’t have been convicted but-for the deficiencies in their counsel’s representation.
The Utah Court of Appeals recently rejected on man’s appeal of his child sexual abuse conviction based on allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel. The man says that his lawyer was ineffective because he failed to obtain forensic examinations of victims to produce exculpatory evidence.
The court found that the man couldn’t win his appeal because there was no evidence that a physical examination of the victims years after the alleged abuse ended would produce any relevant evidence to help his case.
Source: Jimenez v. State, 2013 WL 1278497, 731 Utah Adv. Rep. 23, March 28, 2013