After two attempts to indict in 1983, Anthony DeCiantis was eventually indicted and convicted of murder in 6-7-1984 [Case No. P1/83-0418]. Mr. DeCiantis's appeal was affirmed by the R.I. Supreme Court. Mr. DeCiantis filed an application for post- conviction relief to address Public Defender Richard Casparian's ineffective assistance of counsel. In R.I. ineffective assistance of counsel can only be addressed using post-conviction remedies. Mr. DeCiantis asserts the following wrongdoing occurred in his case:
Prosecutor Kenneth Madden, deliberately prejudiced the Grand Jury by illegally eliciting evidence of prior crimes from witness Det. John McGehearty. Mr. DeCiantis's lawyer, public defender Richard Casparian, knew this illegal and unethical conduct took place to illegally prejudice his client and never moved to quash the indictment or sanction Prosecutor Madden's prosecutorial misconduct.
After being remanded from the Supreme court on February 11, 1988 a hearing was held on the ineffective assistance claims against Atty. Richard Casparian. Many issues were not raised by new counsel Arthur Chatfield III. Atty. Allen Shoer from the Attorney General's Office was Atty. Casparian's defense counsel at the post-conviction hearing. Evidence was provided at the hearing showing
Atty. Allen Shoer not only represented Atty. Casparian but declined to prosecute his illegal conduct or move for sanctions as mandated by Supreme court Article V. Rule 8.3.
" A lawyer having knowledge that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the appropriate professional authority."
[Note: Shortly after the above events Atty. Shoer was hired by the public defender's office.] Mr. DeCiantis's Attorney, Arthur Chatfield III, also never reported this unethical conduct. Like Atty. Casparian, Atty. Chatfield did not address numerous issues of ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct or withholding of evidence.
This case is now back before the courts in Case MP 98-0899 to address all of the issues that were suppressed or not properly addressed. Mr. DeCiantis hopes the new Attorney General will admit the truth and correct the illegal conduct of the past. Apparantly this is the result. Also see the travel of the case.