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Judges affirm denial of post-conviction relief

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The Indiana Court of Appeals found a man’s double jeopardy claims were without merit, so his trial and direct appeal attorneys’ failure to raise these claims created no prejudice.

Juan Garrett was charged with several offenses, including two counts of rape stemming from an incident in his apartment with the victim and two other men. He was found not guilty of one count of Class A felony rape, and the jury couldn’t reach a verdict on the other Class A felony rape charge. Both charges alleged Garrett raped the victim while armed with a knife.

Garrett was retried on the second rape charge and found guilty of rape as a Class B felony because the victim testified she hadn’t seen anyone touch the knife.

Garrett appealed the conviction, which the COA affirmed. He then filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that his trial and direct appeal attorneys were ineffective because they didn’t raise double jeopardy claims either by filing to dismiss the charges or arguing at retrial that the second rape charge was impermissible. The post-conviction court denied his request.

The judges looked at Garrett’s claims using the federal double jeopardy clause and the state’s constitution to find that the retrial of the second rape charge didn’t violate his Fifth Amendment protection against double jeopardy or the statutory elements test of the Indiana double jeopardy clause.

“If the jury had concluded that the State had failed to prove that neither rape occurred, then it would have acquitted Garrett of both charges of rape. Thus, a rational jury could have grounded its vote to acquit on one count of rape on issues unrelated to the second rape charge. We conclude that collateral estoppel did not bar relitigation of the second count of rape,” wrote Senior Judge Betty Barteau in Juan M. Garrett v. State of Indiana, No. 49A04-1107-PC-410.

 

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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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