Criminal Justice

Court-appointed lawyer isn't at murder defendant's 'beck and call,' judge says


In the 22 months since he’s been charged with first-degree murder, Jerry Crosby says he has been able to spend only 32 hours talking with his court-appointed defense attorney.

“He never comes to see me,” said Crosby of attorney Kenneth Moynihan during a Monday court hearing in Syracuse, N.Y. “I’m basically fighting this by myself. If I lose, I’m going to prison for the rest of my life.”

But Crosby’s complaints that Moynihan hasn’t spoken with him about his defense and won’t take calls from him and his wife elicited little sympathy from the judge in the case, the Post-Standard reports.

Like other inmates, Crosby is focusing on a perceived lack of consultation, said Judge Anthony Aloi. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the defense attorney isn’t working on the case.

“There’s no requirement that he be at your beck and call as an assigned counsel,” Aloi told Crosby, noting that it is difficult to find qualified lawyers to take on such cases at the reimbursement rate they are paid.

“I just want an attorney to represent me to the best of his ability,” Crosby said.

The judge agreed that Moynihan should send Crosby copies of paperwork in the case after Crosby complained that he hadn’t received all of it.

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