In 2011, under circumstances that did not afford him a fair trial, Christopher Waisner was convicted of several off-grid sex crimes and sentenced to serve multiple life prison terms. It was a “he said, she said” case that significantly depended on the credibility of the complaining witness. At trial, the State’s expert witnesses improperly vouched that the complaining witness’s allegations were true. Although the experts’ testimony violated clearly established Kansas law, Mr. Waisner’s trial attorney did not object or otherwise try to prevent it. The effect of the experts’ vouching testimony (and trial counsel’s failure to block it) was devastatingly prejudicial—especially given that there was no physical evidence to support the charges and a prior trial presenting the same facts had resulted in a hung jury.
Mr. Waisner eventually sought assistance from Joseph, Hollander & Craft. In 2015, Christopher M. Joseph and Carrie E. Parker brought Mr. Waisner’s case back before the district court in an action pursuant to K.S.A. 60-1507. They argued that Mr. Waisner’s convictions and sentences should be vacated because the attorney who represented him at trial provided constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel. The judge who presided over Mr. Waisner’s trial determined that the circumstances were sufficient to undermine her confidence in the outcome. In 2016, the judge entered an order vacating Mr. Waisner’s convictions and sentences and directing that his case be set for a new trial. The State immediately appealed from this order.
In the Kansas Court of Appeals, Joseph and Parker again presented their client’s case and urged that Mr. Waisner be afforded the opportunity to receive a fair trial. On February 2, 2018, the Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s judgment and held that Mr. Waisner’s convictions were properly vacated.
More info from → CJOnline
Congratulations to Mr. Waisner, Mr. Joseph, and Ms. Parker on this significant appellate victory. The defense attorneys at Joseph, Hollander & Craft handle all aspects of criminal representation—from the pre-charge stage to the litigation of post-conviction remedies. With attorneys in Wichita (316-262-939), Topeka (785-234-3272), Lawrence (785-856-0143), and Overland Park (913-948-9490), we serve clients from the Oklahoma border to the Kansas City area.