ILNews

Court reinstates man's direct appeal

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has reinstated the direct appeal of a LaPorte County man convicted of felony robbery and attempted robbery in 2004, finding that he should not receive a new trial for receiving ineffective assistance of appellate counsel the first time he tried to challenge his convictions and sentence.

In the case of Mario A. Allen v. State of Indiana, No., 46A04-1106-PC-353, the appellate court affirmed and reversed in part a ruling from LaPorte Superior Judge Kathleen B. Lang. Mario Allen appealed the trial court’s denial of his post-conviction relief petition requesting a new trial or release because he was denied appellate counsel assistance. The panel agreed with the state that the proper remedy is to permit Allen to proceed with the direct appeal he was denied.

Finding that the parties didn’t refer to any Indiana case addressing this issue, the three-judge appellate panel looked to other jurisdictions that have ruled on this matter. The 2nd and 7th Circuit courts and Northern District of Indiana have addressed the topic in the past two decades and held the proper remedy is to give the defendant the appeal he or she has been deprived. The appellate panel rejected Allen’s claims that both res judicata and the law of the case doctrine prevent the court from providing him with a direct appeal remedy.

The post-conviction court’s conclusion is affirmed and the appellate panel remanded the case with instructions that the trial court appoint Allen counsel to represent him on appeal.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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