American Lawyer Features Wahlquist’s Pro Bono Trial Victory
“Manatt Partner Secures New Trial for Death Row Inmate”The American Lawyer’s The Am Law Daily
April 1, 2010 – Manatt litigation partner Becca Wahlquist’s hard fought victory on behalf of her pro bono death row client was featured in The American Lawyer’s April 1, 2010 issue of The Am Law Daily.
For almost a decade, The Am Law Daily reports, Emanuel Aaron Gissendanner, Jr. has maintained his innocence in the 2001 killing of 77-year-old Margaret Snellgrove. Nonetheless, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to die after the jury's 10-2 vote.
After two and half years preparing for and helming her client's post conviction hearing, Wahlquist's efforts resulted in Judge Kenneth W. Quattlebaum of the 33rd Judicial Circuit Court ordering a new trial for Gissendanner, whom he had sent to death row in Alabama in 2003. Wahlquist led a team at her former firm to challenge his conviction, and Manatt will continue to represent Gissendanner on a pro bono basis in any further appeals and at any new trial.
Judge Quattlebaum ordered the new trial on March 30, 2010, on the grounds of ineffectiveness of his original counsel and a finding that the state had withheld crucial evidence from the defense.
“All the information we presented was available to the trial counsel. It was like doing the criminal trial that should’ve been done the first time,” Wahlquist told The Am Law Daily. “The judge finally saw the evidence that the jury should have seen.”
Read the article here.
© 2013 Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. All rights reserved.