St. Louis, Missouri (May 16, 2018)- In a recent string of events, The People’s Counsel worked with Benjamin Wilkinson to petition the state of Missouri. The petition was for a writ of certiorari, which is when the supreme court overturns the decision of a lower court. The petitioners claimed that Mr. Wilkinson’s fifth amendment right had been violated. The fifth amendment states that no person be required to testify against him or herself in the court of law. This amendment is often summarized as “the right to remain silent.”
In February 2014 Mr. Wilkinson was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend April Ward. While in jail, the mother of April Ward, Mrs. Palmier, visited him repeatedly and would beg that he explain what happen to her daughter. Mr. Wilkinson, with the knowledge that the phone was recording him and with advice from his lawyer not to say anything, told Mrs. Palmier that he wanted to explain what happened in private and refused to say anything else. Later, however, his silence would be used against him. Mrs. Palmier took his reaction to her questions as guilt and testified against him even though she initially had believed him to be innocent. The case was closed with a statement about his silence, and Mr. Wilkinson was found to be guilty.
This is when the People’s counsel stepped in to ask the questions: Does the Fifth Amendment’s right to remain silent apply when a defendant is in the presence of police? When a defendant is asked an accusatory question and is in jail where his conversations are recorded and monitored by the State, does silence equate to guilt?
Even though the petition was overturned by the Supreme Court, the People’s Counsel wants it to serve as an example as to how far they will go to make sure that justice is appropriately served to the people. Its legal team has a “proven track record of success” and exists to help people reduce or even negate criminal charges in anything from driver’s license reinstatement after a DUI to murder. To contact the People’s Counsel, check out their Facebook page.
The People’s Counsel – Law Offices of Charles L. Barberio IV
4542 W Pine Blvd Suite 200,
St. Louis, MO 63108