The United States Supreme Court to Consider Case of SCHR Client

24th January, 2017

On January 13, 2017, more than thirty years after his conviction, the Supreme Court of the United States granted cert to longtime SCHR client, James McWilliams. 

Mr. McWilliams has been on Alabama’s death row since 1986. The Court will hear his case and decide the question of whether when the Court held in Ake v. Oklahoma that an indigent defendant is entitled to meaningful expert assistance for the “evaluation, preparation, and presentation of the defense,” it clearly established that the expert should be independent of the prosecution.   

Oral arguments will take place in April 2017. 


James McWilliams’s Petition for a Writ of Certiorari

Alabama’s Brief in Opposition to a Writ of Certiorari

James McWilliams’s Reply to Brief in Opposition to a Writ of Certiorari