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Man’s molestation post-conviction bid fails on appeal

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A Morgan County man failed to convince a Court of Appeals panel that ineffective assistance of counsel and prosecutorial misconduct should entitle him to relief from a child molestation conviction.

In William Hinesley, III v. State of Indiana, 55A05-1302-PC-80, Hinesley appealed denial of post-conviction relief from the Class A felony conviction for which he was sentenced to an aggregate term of 25 years in prison. He claimed his counsel failed to object to hearsay and double-hearsay from police regarding what witnesses said.

But the panel noted that Hinesley’s defender testified to the post-conviction court that he didn’t object because he was pursuing a strategy of presenting the varying accounts of key witnesses to the alleged molestation, including Hinesley’s son.

“We cannot say that the post-conviction court erred when it concluded that defense counsel’s trial strategy was reasonable under the unique circumstances of this case,” Judge Terry Crone wrote for the panel that also ruled Hinesley had waived his claim of prosecutorial misconduct.

Hinesley also objected to his attorney’s failure to introduce the medical report from a physical examination of the victim taken the day after the molestation that Hinesley claimed would have helped his case. “We cannot say that the medical report has the same exculpatory value that Hinesley now assigns it such that the result of the trial would have been different had counsel introduced it,” Crone wrote.

The panel also rejected Hinesley’s argument that the cumulative impact of his counsel’s poor decisions prejudiced his case. Hinesley cannot demonstrate the trial would have been different absent the claimed errors, Crone wrote.

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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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