Former Inmate Wins Case As Own Attorney


Thursday, December 22nd 2011, 8:50 pm
By: News 9


A small victory for a former death row inmate: Paris Powell defends himself in court and wins.

The jury acquitted the former death row inmate on rape and kidnapping charges, but Powell cursed at the judge six times while making his case.

Judge Jerry Bass warned Powell that he was out of order, but Powell continued the outburst saying six curse words. Powell then told Judge Jerry Bass, "I don't have to take this from you, homey."

Bob Ravitz and the Oklahoma County Public Defender's Office represented Powell during his appeal on a murder conviction from 1993.

Powell was released from death row and then freed from prison in 2009, Ravitz said,

"I can understand the dismay Mr. Powell may have after spending 10 years on death row for a crime he had been exonerated on."

Powell found himself back in the courtroom to face 11 charges of rape and kidnapping but this time he fired the public defenders

Ravitz said he was not surprised,

"I can understand, Mr. Powell wanted it done his way and felt if he was going to get convicted he wanted to do it on his own terms."

Now, Powell is serving 30 days in jail and will serve 100 hours of community service for six counts of contempt of court.

Leaving the courtroom, Powell told cameras, "I feel terrific, thank you."

Still, Powell is currently on a deferred sentence for possession of drugs.

The district attorney said he plans to ask for revocation of the deferred sentence following the contempt charges.

If the deferral is revoked, Powell could serve up to ten years in prison for that crime.