The prosecutor, Jack Quatman, claims that defendant Fred Freeman's defense lawyers were incompetent. Of course, if they were incompetent, that could be a basis for overturning the conviction and death sentence. Thus, the defense lawyers are in a position that is familiar to anyone who follows death penalty jurisprudence: although their professional fitness is being questioned, they feel an obligation not to defend themselves.
"Frankly, it's very advantageous for Mr. Freeman if I was incompetent," [defense lawyer] Strellis said. "So I'm certainly not going to argue with it."The second thing I noticed was Quatman's account of why he came forward now.
"I'm a pro-death-penalty guy. I believe we need to fire up the death penalty system and get it going," Quatman said. "However, on the Fred Freeman case…I felt badly about it because of what I felt was horrible representation on the other side...."
"I thought about it [coming forward] for a long time," he said. "I knew what the possible ramifications were…but I think it was the right thing to do.
"If we're going to kill Fred Freeman, maybe we ought to get it squeaky clean."