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Appeals panel affirms denial of post-conviction relief

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A man seeking relief from his 2006 conviction of Class A felony dealing cocaine failed to persuade a panel of the Court of Appeals Tuesday that his 48-year sentence should be reduced.

In Freddie L. McKnight, III v. State of Indiana, 20A03-1109-CR-454, the Court of Appeals affirmed the Elkhart Circuit post-conviction court’s denial of relief. The panel rejected McKnight’s claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and that his hearing was unfair because an appointed public defender withdrew before the hearing and he proceeded pro se.

McKnight also claimed the state withheld evidence that a confidential informant had a 10-year-old theft conviction.

In affirming denial of post-conviction relief, Judge Terry Crone wrote for the court that “the State presented ample independent evidence of McKnight’s guilt. … McKnight has not demonstrated a reasonable probability that the outcome of his trial would have been different had trial counsel known about the theft conviction and attempted to impeach (the informant) with questions about that remote conviction.”

The panel also rejected the appeal on McKnight’s pro se argument. “Given that the right to counsel in a post-conviction proceeding is not guaranteed and that he was represented by appointed counsel until counsel properly withdrew as provided by our post-conviction rules, McKnight has stated no viable claim of error.”





 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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