Edwin Alemany, convicted for the brutal murder of Amy Lord of South Boston in a Hyde Park forest in July, 2013, today asked a federal judge to free him because, he claims, his trial attorneys were "ineffective" in going with an insanity defense.
In a petition filed in US District Court in Boston, Alemany, now serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole at the Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater, argues that his lawyers disregarded his desire to fight for his innocence because he was innocent of stabbing Lord 40 times, strangling her and dumping her body in the woods of Stony Brook Reservation, not because he was insane.
A year ago, the state Supreme Judicial Court upheld Alemany's conviction for both Lord's murder and for attacks on two other women - one before he allegedly killed Lord and one after - ruling he got a fair trial. The state's highest court concluded that Suffolk County prosecutors proved, as required, that Alemany was either able to tell right from wrong or, if he wasn't, it was because he was drunk at the time, which is not enough for an insanity defense.
But in his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, Alemany's current lawyer argues his trial was flawed from the start:
Where the petitioner repeatedly informed his attorneys that he did not want them to pursue a criminal responsibility defense and thereby acknowledge his guilt, their failure to follow his wishes violated his Sixth Amendment rights. In pursuing a defense of lack of criminal responsibility, the petitioner's attorneys violated his right to choose whether to admit guilty for the charged offenses.
His current attorney also argues that the error was compounded when a judge refused to hold an evidentiary hearing on request for a new trial and that a prosecutor made impermissibly inflammatory comments in an opening statement to the jury. In its ruling, the SJC concluded that while the prosecutor might have gone a bit too far, it was not enough to have changed the jury's collective mind, that there was more than enough evidence to convict Alemany.
Alemany's petition for a writ of habeas corpus asks a federal judge to order him released immediately, vacate his conviction and dismiss his indictment.
Alemany's petition for a writ of habeas corpus (1.3M PDF).