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In the Matter of JAMES JOSEPH HAMM Arizona Supreme Court No. SB-04-0079-M 211 Ariz 458, 123 p.

3d 652, 2005 Petitioners: James Hamm Petition: To review the recommendation provided by Committee on Character and Fitness (the Committee) denying the Petitioners application for admission to the State Bar of Arizona (the Bar).

FACTS: - Hamm, the Petitioner, was sentenced to life in prison for one-count of first degree murder to which he pled guilty. Prior to serving his sentence, Hamm had been separated from his wife with whom he had a son and had supported himself by selling and using marijuana, other drugs and drinking alcohol. - The crime for which Hamm was sentenced to life imprisonment is for the murder of Morley and Well, who were killed by Hamm along with two accomplices, Garland Wells and Bill Reeser. The three robbed and killed Morley and Well by shooting them with a gun and leaving their bodies lying in the dessert. - While in prison, Hamm exhibited good conduct and became a model prisoner which earned him a conditioned parole. Hamm was released after serving nearly seventeen years in prison. From conditioned parole, Hamm absolutely discharged on December 2001. - While on parole, Hamm graduated from the Arizona State University College of Law. In July 1999, Hamm passed the Arizona bar examination and, in 2004, filed his Character and Fitness Report with the Committee. - In its report, the Committee stated that, in reaching its conclusions, it considered the following: Hamms unlawful conduct, which included the commission of two violent execution style murders and his testimony as to the facts surrounding the murders Hamms omissions on his Application and his testimony in explaining his failure to disclose all required information. Hamms neglect of his financial responsibilities and/or violation of a longstanding child support court order and his testimony as to his failure to comply with the court order. Hamms mental or emotional instability impairing his ability to perform the functions of an attorney including his testimony as to any diagnosis and treatment.

ISSUE: Whether or not Hamm can be admitted to the Bar.

HELD: No, the Supreme Court decided that Hamm failed to prove his burden that he is of good moral character on the following grounds: - Hamm failed to show rehabilitation from past criminal conduct by not accepting full responsibility for serious criminal misconduct - Staples murder although he accepted responsibility for the death of Morley. - Hamm was not completely up-front in his testimony to the murder of which he claims that he only intended to rob and not to kill. This is contrary to the facts he accepted the gun and brings it with him in the car, shot Morley without attempting robbery and shot hit again to ensure he is dead and shot Staples when he attempted to escape. - Hamms failure to fulfill his long overdue obligation to support his child who he was aware existed. - Hamms failure to disclose the incident involving him and his wife, Donna, when he submitted his application to the Committee. This incident gave rise to Hamm being questioned by the law enforcers which should have been reflected by Hamm in the application Question 25. - Hamms act of quoting lines from Supreme Courts decision and use the same in the introduction for his petition.