We’ve all seen law shows and thought to ourselves, “if I had to, I could probably be my own lawyer.” But what if you actually had to act as your own lawyer? One Flint prisoner did just that, and may soon be freed!
Omar Pouncy was charged with five counts of carjacking and armed robbery, plus a host of weapons charges in 2006 and has never relented in proclaiming his innocence. In fact, he’s taught himself the law while in prison and is on the verge of getting himself out.
In 2006, Pouncy felt that his appointed public defender was failing him, and court records show that he was refused a different appointment. Feeling that he was left with no other choice, he decided to take matters into his own hands. Still contending his innocence, he went to the prison’s law library and got to work.
He began by memorizing obscure laws and filing appeals through different lawyers. He has filed more than 15 to date. What’s more, he even began offering his services to other prisoners, regardless of their affiliation. He has helped members from several different gangs and even fought to defend a white supremacist.
And now it looks like his hard work has paid off. In January, a federal judge in Detroit ordered him released unless he faces a new trial—an impressive victory for a man who has seemingly earned freedom all by himself.
Pouncy has left such an impression on his new attorney David Moffitt, who has been representing Pouncy since 2012, that Moffitt has said he will hire Pouncy as a paralegal the moment that he’s released.
“He stands head and shoulders with any attorney in the system,” Moffitt, said. “He is every bit my equal.”
Acting As Your Own Lawyer
Teaching oneself the law and acting as one’s own lawyer (called acting pro se), is no easy feat. There are many obstacles that get in the way of being a successful defense lawyer for oneself, which makes Pouncy’s feat even more impressive.
Click here to learn more about the difficulties of a pro se defense!