In 2008, James Vaughan III of Shaker Heights was convicted of kidnapping and raping a 9-year-girl. On appeal, Vaughan's family hired Attorney Ian Friedman to re-evaluate the case and develop a new defense strategy. Attorney Friedman and his legal team did, and one year later, Vaughan was acquitted. Now, six years later, Vaughan is seeking a lawsuit against the state for the critical mistakes and oversights Attorney Friedman discovered in the case against him.
As Cleveland.com reports, Vaughan, who spent a year in jail after his initial conviction and has suffered what he describes as "emotional distress," is seeking restitution from Cuyahoga County for a number of errors that took place during his trial. Among them are:
- Important testimony from a social worker that was omitted
- The allowance of an unlicensed physician to testify
- Lack of diligence by police, including failure to interview the victim
- The discovery that the original judge may not have been impartial
When these facts came to light during Attorney Friedman's review of the initial trial, the case against Vaughan collapsed. Still, as of Cleveland.com's report, Vaughan's efforts to sue have not been as successful: a federal court recently threw out his suit, citing that Vaughan's original counsel had access to the appropriate evidence at the time of his first trial.
Trusting the System... to a Degree
While we all would like to believe that our justice system is incapable of error, it is not perfect, and sometimes the wrongly accused are convicted. In Mr. Vaughan's case, he was fortunate to retain vigilant counsel on appeal that was able to identify critical errors and have the decision against him overturned. His story is one more reason why carefully choosing counsel on the outset of any allegations against you is of the utmost importance.
If you are facing a criminal accusation, then the time to take action is now. Ian N. Friedman is an experienced, knowledgeable and highly sought-after Cleveland criminal defense attorney whose track record of reductions, dismissals, and staunch advocacy for his clients speaks for itself.
You can face this difficult time with confidence. Contact us today for a free consultation.