Implications of Legal Ethics
Sounds like a pretty heavy burden to bear. But is there any alternative?
An innocent man was behind bars. His name was Alton Logan. He did not kill a security guard in a McDonald's restaurant in January 1982.
"In fact," the document said, "another person was responsible."
They knew, because Andrew Wilson told them: He did it.
But that was the catch.
Lawyer-client privilege is not complete; most states allow attorneys to reveal confidences to prevent a death, serious bodily harm or criminal fraud. But this case didn't offer that kind of exception.
So when Andrew Wilson told his lawyers that he, and not Alton Logan, had killed the guard, they felt powerless — aware of information that could free a man they believed to be innocent, but unable to do anything with that knowledge. And for decades, they said nothing.