Wash. dead man appeals murder conviction



SEATTLE (AP) — The family of a man who committed suicide four days after he was sentenced to life in prison is appealing his conviction, attempting to clear his name at taxpayers’ expense.

The Seattle Times reports (http://bit.ly/mWagQH) that 57-year-old Christopher Harrison Devlin was found dead Sept. 20, 2010 at a Spokane County jail cell. Earlier that week, Devlin had been convicted of killing a man who had been set to testify against him in an assault trial.

Devlin’s attorneys immediately appealed his conviction. Attorney Gregory Link argues that a recent state Supreme Court decision allows him to seek the appeal, even though a previous law dismissed those types of appeals.

And because Devlin was broke at the time of his death, the attorney and Devlin’s sister want the state to pay.

Senior deputy Spokane County prosecutor Mark Lindsey says the right to appeal is solely for an individual.

Both sides have turned to the state Court of Appeals to settle the matter.