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Asset Forfeiture and the Right to Counsel: An Inmate’s Petition and Reply

Alvin Thomas is a federal inmate incarcerated in Kentucky, sentenced to 20-years imprisonment for cocaine distribution and possession. During the course of the prosecution, government lawyers initiated asset forfeiture proceedings against his property. Mr. Thomas asserts that because those efforts prevented him from using his assets to hire an attorney of his choice, the government has unconstitutionally impaired his right to counsel. Following its initial Conference, the U.S. Supreme Court requested a response from the government (Case No. 11-813, find the docket here).

Mr. Thomas has asked us to post his briefs:

Petition, filed on December 27, 2011

Reply, filed on May 14, 2012

We have also posted a link to the government’s response:

Brief in Opposition, filed May 2, 2012

The case is scheduled for another Conference on May 31st.

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Articles posted in the Cockle Blog are for informational purposes only. Nothing in the Cockle Blog should be taken for legal advice. In fact, Cockle Blog articles are not a substitute for proper legal research conducted by licensed attorneys.

Cockle Blog will occasionally provide opinions on certain cases and Court procedures. These opinions should be viewed with the recognition that no one can predict with certainty how the Supreme Court will rule on particular cases. Any reliance on articles contained in Cockle Blog must be done at one's own risk.