"the NJ defense provided ineffective assistance by not pointing out Fawcett's misconduct (in NY)."
The emphasis in the first few days (after the arrest) was New York, NY, and NY. The extortion (twice) took place at NYC cemeteries, the suspect lived in NYC, most of the loot was spent and identified in NYC. The handwriting, discovery, possession of the serial-numbered cash was also (mostly) in NY, and that's where the Dodge was registered.
We do not know if Fawcett had ever (ever) handled a case of this type, involving a Rendition/Extradition, either as an absolute defense for his client or even as a delaying tactic. We do not even know (for sure) whose idea it was - do we?
Naturally enough, Fawcett resented the entry of Big Ed Reilly (after the NJ transfer). It took quite some doing to get Fawcett to turn over the required paperwork.
Of course, Wilentz had never prosecuted a criminal case in his life, having always been a defense lawyer (before becoming NJ State's AG).
But your use of "misconduct" can be a loose term in this context. Do you really mean that Fawcett's behavior in resisting NJ's Request rose to some kind of actionable appeal?
If you are looking for evidence of a retrospective "dumb move," it was Fawcett having Hauptmann write out his short Autobiography in long hand! It didn't take much skill for a multitude of observers to note the match-up to the Ransom Notes.
Has anyone ever shown that a lawyer's (failed) attempt to resist Extradition would get him into trouble with the Court System? Or "invalidate" the action?
Some of Wilentz's attempts to "accept" the "eyewitness testimony" to establish BRH's (needed) presence in NJ bordered on the incredulous.
Fawcett's conduct (in NY), imho, is a mere blip on the timeline (legal or otherwise). BRH's own story about being a "little bit interest" in the case tells us something about the perp's own mindset.
You should always put the odds in your favor. You look for the easier argument. A statement to the police in the pressurized environment of a police precinct is easier to attack than the atmosphere... more
Fawcett's action in resisting sending Hauptmann to NJ by filing a petition would not be the chief basis of a claim of ineffective assistance, although it might add "make weight" evidence to the... more
"It took a lawsuit and a court order (to get Fawcett's Files). The trial was already in progress when the NJ defense got the file." It is hard to fathom the actual forensic value of Fawcett's Files... more
So, perhaps we disagree as to the value of the NJ defense having had the Bronx materials ahead of time. However, the State had the Bronx transcript of the testimony and the defense did not (until two ... more
"Knowing what you know today, would you have waived extradition for Hauptmann?" This kind of question violates a variety of time-travel considerations. Parlor game machinations. I think we can agree... more