Monday, November 28, 2011

Habeas relief awarded to remedy 29 years of injustice

Elmore v. Ozmint: The Fourth Circuit awarded Edward Elmore habeas relief on his ineffective assistance of counsel claims, arising from his original 1982 murder conviction. The Fourth Circuit, in its 194-page tome, found that Elmore's attorneys blindly accepted South Carolina's forensic evidence against their client. The Fourth Circuit also noted that there were grave concerns as to whether Elmore actually committed the murder.

"If our opinion embarrasses anyone, so be it. It would be entirely inappropriate for us to pull our punches or take any such consideration into account. There are far greater interests at stake: the fairness of our judicial system and, more specifically, Elmore's Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel."

Elmore will be free unless the State of South Carolina decides to prosecute him a fourth time for the murder of Dorothy Edwards. The State has not yet announced its decision, though it must do so within a reasonable time.

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