“The public interest in the fair and efficient administration of justice is all the greater in the context of a capital sentencing proceeding, as the defendant’s life literally hangs in the balance,” the motion said.
During the penalty phase, the jury can impose a sentence of life with the possibility of parole, life without parole, or death by lethal injection.
"The jury will have nothing upon which to base a life sentence, not because Mrs. Moss wanted the death penalty, but because she was incapable of representing herself," the motion said. "Society's interest in justice is not served by such a one-sided and arbitrary proceeding."
Gardner and Gilbert were initially assigned to represent Moss, who is accused of starving her 10-year-old stepdaughter Emani to death. They objected when Moss was allowed to represent herself. They also filed motions disclosing that Moss previously suffered a brain injury.