My friend Mike Odom, a fellow biker, has been keeping a close watch on the Billy Lane Case on his Blog which you can find by clicking here.
You can find some of his recent articles on the case by clicking here.
It appears that Billy Lane has hired two criminal defense lawyers to represent him in his drunk driving manslaughter case.
Some members of my blog and others visitors have asked me to comment on the fact that Billy Lane has hired two criminal defense attorneys, and whether it is allowed.
In California and in Federal Court where I am licensed to practice law, it is not uncommon for there to be two or more attorneys of record. I myself have associated in Counsel (a 2nd lawyer) in cases that I have done.
It is much easier to put on a case when you have other lawyers helping, especially at trial. The lead lawyer in a case is usually called the 1st seater, and co-counsel is usually called the 2nd seater. Two eyes and ears are in most cases better than one in complex cases.
You may remember the O.J. Simpson criminal murder case that was conducted in Los Angeles Superior Court Central. (The Stanley Mosk Justice Center) O.J. Simpson had no less than 10 lawyers on his team and he was found not guilty in the criminal case.
Everyone must always remember one thing; the United States Constitution presumes that all men or women charged of a criminal offense; are innocent until proven guilty in a Court of competent jurisdiction by a jury of their peers. Our system of justice may not be perfect, but it is the best in the world.
It is thought that it is better to let 12 guilty men go free than to convict one innocent man. That is the way our justice system works. Our forefathers came from countries that used various methods of torture to get people accused of a crime to confess to their crimes. Most people confess to anything under torture. Our founding fathers created a more fair system of justice!
The subject of this article is Billy Lane and his case; not our system of justice and its benefits or faults. This is the subject for a future article.
Getting back to the Billy Lane case; it is easy to convict the man by media reports and other out of Court evidence. However, it must be remembered that he is innocent until proven guilty in a Court of Law. It’s as simple as that. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that he is guilty.
If the facts about the Billy Lane case are accurate as reported, and a Jury does convict him of killing Gerry Morelock, then I say “fry his ass.” My attitude is “Kill a Biker; Go to Jail.” We will have to wait and see.
The fact that Billy Lane has hired two lawyers does not surprise me at all. In our country if you have the money you can retain as many lawyers as you want to represent you. The Judge in the case could limit only one lawyer from presenting the case in front of the jury, or allow both lawyers to present Lane’s case. I do not presume to know Florida law; I am a California lawyer.
Billy Lane is entitled to defend himself. The U.S. Constitution guarantees it.
Therefore, I want to caution everyone; we will not know all of the facts until the case goes to trial. At that time, justice will be done one way or another. You cannot find a man guilty based upon media reports alone, because the media does not tell you everything.
There have been many innocent men whose lives were ruined by being convicted in the media Court and not a Court of Law. Do you remember that guy who was named as the suspected Olympic Bomber by the F.B.I., and had his life ruined, only to get a formal apology years later? His life is still ruined.
I will admit the facts in the Billy Lane case disturb me very much. However, I would not be much of a lawyer if I were to make a judgment about his guilt or innocence until after he is tried in a Court of Law.
By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. © 2007