In yet another controversy over attorney-client privilege and confidentiality, two attorneys in Chicago have revealed that their former client killed a security guard in 1982 and that an innocent man, Alton Logan, has been imprisoned for almost three decades for a crime that he did not commit. Bar officials in North Carolina and Virginia have faced similar questions over the limits of confidentiality, here.
In the Chicago case, the attorneys put their knowledge into an affidavit that was held in a sealed envelope in a locked box for 26 years. Dale Coventry and W. Jamie Kunz were both public defenders and were racked with guilt over their inability to reveal their knowledge. That troubling knowledge came from Andrew Wilson told them that Logan did not kill the guard, he did. Wilson was a real piece of work. He was convicted of the February 1982 murders of police officers William Fahey and Richard O’Brien. Yet, despite the fact that he would either be executed or spend his entire life behind jail, he refused to clear Logan. Logan even confronted him and asked him to tell the truth but Wilson just laughed at him.
They were not the only lawyers with this disturbing knowledge. Marc Miller represents Edgar Hope, in the same case. Yet, Miller said that he did not know Alton Logan and asked Miller to tell Logan’s lawyers that he was innocent and that it was Wilson. Miller passed along the information but could give no more details to protect his client.
On March 17, 1982, Kunz, Coventry and Miller signed a notarized affidavit: “I have obtained information through privileged sources that a man named Alton Logan … who was charged with the fatal shooting of Lloyd Wickliffe … is in fact not responsible for that shooting … ”
Coventry later confronted Wilson and asked, since he might be executed, whether after his death he could reveal to information. Wilson agreed — but only after he was executed. However, his death sentence was later commuted to life without parole due to documented torture by police in his case and other cases.
When Wilson finally died, the lawyers moved quickly to ask a court if they could reveal the information. Permission was granted and Miller testified at the hearing.
He will be in court on April 18th to press his case for a new trial. However, he was been told that Hope will not testify and will invoke his fifth amendment right to remain silent.
For the full story, click here.
3 thoughts on “Lawyers Reveal 26-Year-Old Secret: Innocent Man Convicted of Murder of Security Guard”
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It is impossible to determine which is the greater of two evils in this kind of case; the breaking of attorney-client privilege, or keeping an innocent man behind bars for almost 30 years for a crime he never committed to avoid breaking that privilege.
I honestly don’t know how that particular dilemma can ever be resolved, but I wish the best legal minds, yours included of course JT, could find some kind of resolution everyone can live with. While I realize legal ethics have to be upheld, I think it’s a horrible thing for an innocent man to have suffer unjust incarceration to uphold them.
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