The 2010 Oklahoma child sex abuse conviction of Kent Faulkner, 47, has been overturned by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. Faulkner had been sentenced to 35 years in prison after being convicted of molesting his adopted child. The conviction was overturned because an assistant district attorney prosecuting Faulkner had once represented him in another case. According to the state court of appeals, the assistant district attorney should have been disqualified from the case. The appeals court ruling released last week finds that Assistant District Attorney Maxey Parker Reilly once represented Faulkner's attempt to gain guardianship, and then the adoption, of the child he was accused of molesting. The court found that in prosecuting Faulkner of Oklahoma child sexual abuse, Reilly not only investigated the sex abuse claim and interviewed the alleged victim, but also presented the state's case at Faulkner's preliminary hearing. The Oklahoma Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for Kent Faulkner. If you are convicted of any crime, your Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer can help you proceed with an appeal of the conviction. Potential grounds for appeal include legal errors, juror misconduct, and ineffective assistance of counsel. If any of these factors may have affected the outcome of the trial, the appellate court may find suitable reason for appeal. However, even if errors were made, if they are found not to have influenced the outcome of the trial, they are held harmless and the overturning of the conviction is not likely. Legal errors which may result in a guilty verdict being overturned include:
- improperly admitted evidence
- incorrect jury instructions
- lack of sufficient evidence to support the guilty verdict.
- the use of experiments
- drug or alcohol abuse during deliberations or trial
- improper communications between jurors and witnesses or counsel.