Brief Filed On Frank’s Resentencing Argument

Posted: November 2, 2009 in Appeals
Harrison Latto, the Portland attorney handling Frank’s state appeal over the resentencing issue has recently filed a brief with the court on the matter.
This issue has certainly lingered in the state courts for quite some time now. On January 18, 2006, the appellate court affirmed the trial court’s judgment that had rejected Frank’s post-conviction claims, except in one respect. It reversed the trial court’s rejection of Frank’s claim that he had not waived his right to be free from an ex post facto law; namely, the submission to the sentencing-phase jury of a third sentencing option (life without the possibility of parole) that was enacted after Frank’s crime. The appellate court remanded to the trial court for it to determine whether Frank, if he had been adequately informed of his right not to have a third option submitted to the jury, would have waived, or asserted that right.
So, to break that down for you, at the time of Michael Francke’s murder the law allowed for a defendant convicted of aggravated murder to have the jury decide on life with the chance for parole or the death penalty. However, by the time Frank was convicted and sentenced, a third option was enacted…that being the opportunity to have the sentencing jury decide on death or life without, and that was the option presented to the jury
Which one would you have chosen if presented with the choice? Frank’s argument is that he wasn’t given a choice, and he wants that choice now. The opportunity to have a sentencing jury decide on death or life with the chance for parole.
If Frank wins this appeal it will result in further delay of his case reaching the federal appeals court. Possibly a year or two.
I am offering a link to the well prepared brief filed by Mr. Latto. It’s in .pdf format. It details quite well, among other things, how the court rushed hearing this issue while Frank was in transit from Florida to Nevada, and how Frank was barely given any time to consult with his attorney Mr. Hadley prior to the hearing. Not to mention Mr. Hadley being given little time to prepare himself.
Give it a look and if you have any questions or comments be sure to post them.

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