Appealing Criminal Convictions Because of an Unfair Trial
Eddie Ray Routh was recently convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the killing of Navy Seal, Chris Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield. Defense attorneys for Routh are planning to appeal the conviction on the grounds that their client did not receive a fair trial. The trial began less than a month after the release of the movie, American Sniper, which is based on Chris Kyle’s autobiography as a sniper for the United States Navy.
The trial was held in the Texas town of 19,000 where the crimes occurred. The people of Stephenville, Texas are proud of their connection to Chris Kyle who attended Tarleton State University. Their interest in the American Sniper movie and with the trial of Eddie Ray Routh is understandable, which defense attorneys say is the basis of their appeal. Their request to have the trial postponed and moved out of the county was denied. The Erath County District Court Judge decided that the jury selection had been smooth and therefore ensured a fair trial.
More than half of the jury of 10 women and two men openly admitted that they had seen the American Sniper movie, but claimed that it did not influence their opinions of whether Mr. Routh was guilty of killing Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield. The killing is not highlighted in the movie, but the last scene of the film shows the actors portraying Kyle and Littlefield leaving with the actor portraying Routh to go to the gun range where the fatal shootings occurred. The last few minutes of the film show the actual funeral footage and military honors bestowed upon Chris Kyle.
Routh’s defense team argue that these moments from the film, along with the highly celebrated Chris Kyle Day in Stephenville right before the trial began, surely influenced the jurors’ view of Chris Kyle as an American military hero. As a result, the defense lawyers assert this led to an unfair trial for their client. Lead defense attorney, Warren St. John, also cited that the jury’s brief deliberation period before coming to a unanimous decision that Routh was guilty of capital murder shows that their minds were already made up before the trial ended.
Cherry Hill Criminal Lawyers at the Law Offices of Jill R. Cohen offer Aggressive Defense for those facing Criminal Charges
If you or someone you know is facing formal criminal charges in New Jersey or feel that you have grounds for a criminal appeal, you know how important it is to hire an experienced and competent criminal defense lawyer. Cherry Hill criminal lawyer, Jill R. Cohen, is known as one of the most aggressive and successful defense attorneys in Camden County. Having served as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia, and as a Camden County prosecutor, New Jersey defense attorney Cohen knows how both sides of the law operate.
Call the Cherry Hill criminal law offices of Jill R. Cohen or complete the online contact form to schedule a consultation today. Conveniently located in Westmont, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Cherry Hill, Westmont, Haddonfield and the city of Camden as well as the communities of Camden County, Burlington County, Gloucester County, Salem County, Cumberland County, Mercer County and Atlantic County.