We are proud to file, for our client, a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States of America. The Supreme Court annually receives more than 7000 such petitions, which are requests to review decisions from the appellate court below it. The Supreme Court agrees to review only approximately 100-150 such lower appellate court decisions.
The case of our client, Charles Sinek, a former Olympic figure skater, impacts fairness and due process for all criminal defendants. Charles’ trial judge refused to allow his attorneys to review the instructions given to the jury prior to their deliberation. This created confusion for the jurors and deprived Charles of his due process because the instructions given to the jury were different than what the judge originally had said he’d deliver. The different jury instructions led to Charles’ conviction and a seven-year prison sentence.
The lower appellate court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, denied our request for a retrial. Thus, we have asked the Supreme Court to review the Second Circuit’s decision denying our request for a retrial.
We hope the Supreme Court will agree to hear this matter because it impacts fundamental fairness. If a trial court judge can change jury instructions without notifying the parties beforehand—it is our position that doing so without notification is fundamentally unfair and deprives criminal defendants of their due process. In a criminal case, where the stakes are of the ultimate variety—loss of freedom—such due process violations can’t be forgiven.
Click here for a link to our Petition in the Supreme Court of the United States of America.