Building on Legal Counsel Struggle in Arizona

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Building on Legal Counsel Struggle in Arizona

I'm writing in regards to an article that appeared in issue 37 of ULK titled [url=https://www.prisoncensorship.info/article/fighting-for-useful-legal-counsel-in-arizona/"Fighting for Useful Legal Counsel in Arizona." The author of this article outlined their legal strategy to help prisoners receive legal counsel in the very early stages of their cases. The writer stated that he had filed a Writ of Certiorari asking the court to resolve the issue of the constitutional question left open in Martinez V. Ryan, 623 F.3d 731, 132S.CT1309(1023) of

"whether a defendant in a state criminal case has a Federal Constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel at initial review collateral proceedings specifically with respect to his ineffective assistance of trial counsel claim."

The case that the writer cited in his article was from the district court, but this particular case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court (Martinez v. Ryan 132 S. Ct 1309), and was decided favorably.

There are two other cases that I know of that deal with this same issue after Martinez, both of which were decided favorably. One was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court and the other by the 8th Circuit. Both cases expand upon the ruling in Martinez and may be useful to the Arizona comrade or anyone going through the motions of trying to get their case back in court on an ineffective assistance claim. The cases are Trevino v. Thaler 133 S.Ct.1911 and Sasser v. Hobbs Nos. 02-3103, 11-3346.


MIM(Prisons) adds: The state sets the rules and then doesn't allow those accused of breaking the rules to effectively defend themselves within the injustice system. This is all part of the system of national oppression in this country; it's no coincidence that effective legal counsel is denied to those accused of breaking Amerikkka's laws.

We appreciate this comrade sharing h legal knowledge with others via the pages of ULK, and a lot of times this is the only way prisoners expand their legal arsenal. The author of the original article in ULK 37 said it took h eleven years to exhaust the remedies within Arizona state courts. Undoubtedly much of this time was spent translating legalese, and trying to figure out which motions to file when and where, with much trial and error along the way. With the assistance of a competent lawyer these speedbumps would be easily leveled.

While we know eventually we need to take up arms to liberate ourselves from national oppression in this country, at this stage in our struggle we are only advocating legally permitted campaigns. Like this comrade is attempting to do, setting valuable legal precedent that makes space for revolutionary organizing and defense of the humynity of the most oppressed Amerikan prisoners would be one step in the direction to overthrow the imperialist state. We can facilitate this work by sharing information the most effective approaches with each other.

Comrades who want to contribute to our collective legal knowledge should work with the MIM(Prisons)-led Prisoners' Legal Clinic (PLC). One of the primary tasks of the PLC is to compile legal knowledge into help guides which MIM(Prisons) then distributes to prison-based activists and jailhouse lawyers. The PLC only focuses on battles that will push our revolutionary struggle forward. Whether it be our efforts to put a complete end to solitary confinement, or simply to have our grievances not thrown in the trash upon receipt, the PLC is for jailhouse lawyers with a strong left lean! Write to MIM(Prisons) for more information.

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