WICHITA, Kan. – Court motions are usually meticulously crated by attorneys. But not always.
“In every jail, in every prison, there are so-called jailhouse lawyers who will draft pleadings like this for an inmate in exchange for a cigarette,” attorney Dan Monnat says.
But Monnat adds, it’s not a good idea.
Bluml and three others are accused of killing Bluml’s adoptive parents at their rural Valley Center home. One of Bluml’s motions asks the court to suppress statements made to detectives, because he writes he was “under the influence of narcotics.”
Another motion asks for a speedy trial within 90 days–no delays.
“In a capital case, where an individual may be looking at the death sentence, there is probably no wisdom that indicates rushing to trial on that case,” Monnat says.
Monnat – who is not involved in this case–says defendants often file motions like this out of fear and frustration. He says court-appointed attorneys such as Bluml’s tend to be very busy, and their clients get anxious.
“A young adult–fighting for his life, charged with a capital offense, afraid–may not have the emotional endurance to wait until his overwhelmed, court-appointed lawyer can get to the many issues involved in a capital case,” Monnat says.
He adds that defendants have the right to file motions like this, and judges must consider them. But without legal expertise, Monnat says defendants can unknowingly incriminate themselves and end up paying a big price for it.
KWCH TV – By Jim Grawe