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Anonymous
Fawcett
Sat Mar 25, 2017 19:45
2602:306:3b94:e290:c45c:f26e:6e35:f69e

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 claim. Fawcett's misconduct was not giving Hauptmann's lawyers access to his records and the transcript of the Bronx hearing until Hauptmann was well into the trial for his life in New Jersey. Saying "it took quite some doing to get Fawcett to turn over the required paperwork" is an understatement. It took a lawsuit and a court order. The trial was already in progress when the NJ defense got the file. So much for pre-trial preparation on those files.

That being said, there are several things Fawcett did in the Bronx hearing that could be construed as denial of effective assistance. He introduced into evidence items he did not understand or appreciate the damaging aspects it would have on his client. He put his client on the stand when the March 1 nighttime alibi could be asserted (and was) by other witnesses.

I think you and I agree on several, perhaps many, points. When you say "Has anyone ever shown that a lawyer's (failed) attempt to resist extradition would get him into trouble with the Court System?", I think you missed the chief point. I think a clear reading of the Bronx hearing transcript shows that Fawcett was unprepared for the hearing, made several tactical mistakes, was unfamiliar with important facts, and other things." Those are indications of ineffective assistance. Were you the defendant in that situation, would you be satisfied that you had received effective assistance?

It is not that Fawcett filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to fight extradition, it is his litigation of that Petition where I find evidence of ineffective assistance. The decision to file a Petition would have to finally be Hauptmann's based on the reasonable perceptions of the case given to him by Fawcett.

As to the "incredulous" aspects of Wilentz' to present some evidence of Hauptmann's presence in NJ, remember that the judge had to decide the case based on the evidence at bar. There was a very low threshhold for extraditing Hauptmann.

If it is true that Fawcett considered a possible mental defense, that fact speaks volumes about how Fawcett felt about the strength of the evidence against Hauptmann. One does not offer a confession-and-avoidance defense if the evidence is weak.

We probably agree on more than we disagree. I think Hauptmann would have been better served going to NJ without the damage brought about by Fawcett's filing of his petition. Certainly, being sent to NJ to fight for his life without his NY attorney's file was a substantial impediment to the ability of the NJ defense attorneys to adequately prepare his NJ defense.

I think, had I been a lawyer and been hired to defend Hauptmann in NJ, I would have argued everything I could have unless I felt the psychological impact would outweigh its use. I think the NJ lawyers had an argument about Fawcett's litigation impact and his refusal to assist his client by giving his trial attorneys valuable information to use in his defense. They may have had to wait until federal court to argue that, but it now is an argument unmade.

I enjoyed your message.

  • misconduct?Anonymous, Sat Mar 25 14:35
    "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... more
    • Fawcett — Anonymous, Sat Mar 25 19:45
      • Fawcett's FilesAnonymous, Tue Mar 28 17:03
        "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
        • Fawcett's filesAnonymous, Tue Mar 28 22:25
          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
          • Extradition etcAnonymous, Thu Mar 30 15:21
            "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
            • Fawcett, extradition, illegal detainment, etcAnonymous, Sat Apr 1 09:55
              You make many good points. Hauptmann would have faced serious charges had he remained in NY. The Sup CT of the US was really only beginning to look at the conduct of attorneys--the court that... more
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