December 5, 2010 By Wallin & Klarich

Despite the abundance of attorneys in California, fewer lawyers are willing to accept appointments for death penalty inmates, creating significant delays in the legal process.

Defense lawyers cite the significant emotional and financial costs in representing death penalty inmates. Court-appointed attorneys usually do not have the funds available to pay for investigators and paralegals, which greatly contribute to an aggressive capital defense. These attorneys are sometimes also paid a flat fee per case, a practice which the American Bar Association discourages because it may lead to attorneys skimping on their client’s representation.

According to the Los Angeles Times, because of the scarcity of state resources, the wait time for an appointed attorney in a death penalty case is between 10 and 12 years. California has over 700 inmates on death row, the highest number of any state in the country.

If you have been accused of a capital crime, you must call an attorney immediately. The death penalty is reserved for the most serious offenses, and the government will use significant resources in your prosecution. You will need an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer to aggressively represent you, and the sooner you contact your attorney, the sooner you can plan your defense.

If you have been convicted of a capital crime and sentenced to death, you are entitled to an automatic appeal in the state of California. Though the court may appoint you an attorney, it will be years before a qualified attorney will be available for appointment. Until then, if you do not have an attorney, you may miss deadlines that are crucial to your appeal.

For over 30 years, the Southern California criminal attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have helped many people accused of crimes, including murder. If you are in need of criminal defense representation, do not delay: call us today at (888) 280-6839 or visit us at our website at We will be there when you call.

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