Thursday, February 10, 2011

What ever happened to Omot?

I recently wrote a blog post, titled Guilt by association, where I discussed two defendants in two different cases who were convicted not for what they did, but for what their roommates did.  One of those defendants was Cham Omot, who was convicted of a felony drug crime because his roommate had marijuana in his (the roommate’s) dresser drawer.  Then, on appeal, the rarest of events occurred: The appellate court reversed the conviction because, even after giving the state every benefit and every inference, there simply was no evidence whatsoever to support the jury’s guilty verdict. 

To most of us, Mr. Omot was just another faceless defendant who had been ground-up in the criminal justice system and wrongfully convicted.  However, from my perspective, Mr. Omot “came to life” when I got a letter from Tyler Wickman, the outstanding appellate attorney who won Omot’s appeal.