Florida Supreme Court and the Execution of William Van Poyck: Issue of Effective Capital Representation Spotlighted
Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed the death warrant for Florida Death Row inmate William Van Poyck and right now Mr. Van Poyck’s execution is scheduled for June 12, 2013.
However, whether or not that Execution will happen is an open question. On May 24, 2013, a formal motion to stay the execution was filed before the Florida Supreme Court.
Reason for all the hoopla over this request for stay? It's not for the usual reasons. This argument is causing all sorts of controversy. Here's why.
Capital lawyer Mark Olive and two other death penalty defense attorneys have been appointed to represent Mr. Van Poyck - but there wasn't much time for these new lawyers to get up to speed, so they asked the court for more time to do their job.
The Florida High Court also denied attorney (and former ABA president) Sandy D’Alemberte motion to intervene in the case on behalf of attorney Olive’s behalf. To argue that as it stood, the appointment and the denial of more time to do the job worked together to force the appointed lawyers into a Catch 22 where they were in the role of lawyer but unable to do their job for their client.
Olive, D'Alemberte, and the other capital lawyers newly appointed to represent a man literally days away from the needle have been quick to act.
Go here to read the Notice filed by Attorney Olive regarding his eleventh hour appointment to represent the convicted man: