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7th Circuit rejects prisoner’s ineffective assistance appeal

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A man convicted of attempted murder failed to convince a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that he suffered sufficient prejudice to warrant relief from a 90-year sentence imposed after a brutal crime.

The panel affirmed District Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s denial of a writ of habeas corpus in Che B. Carter v. Keith Butts, 13-2466. Che Carter and another man viciously assaulted Donna Stegemiller in her home in 1990. In 1991, Carter was convicted of burglary, robbery, rape and attempted murder.

Carter’s post-conviction petition was denied by the Indiana Supreme Court, which vacated a Court of Appeals finding that Carter had received ineffective assistance of counsel and was therefore entitled to relief. The Supreme Court found Carter had not met the prejudice element of the two-prong test for ineffective assistance established in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984).

“We do not find that the Indiana Supreme Court unreasonably applied clearly established federal law; rather, we find that the Indiana Supreme Court reasonably concluded that Carter was not sufficiently prejudiced by (attorney Belle) Choate’s failure to challenge the attempted murder jury instruction to warrant relief,” Judge William J. Bauer wrote for the panel.

The jury instructions and evidence as a whole made clear to the jury that it was required to find that Carter intended to kill Stegemiller in order to convict, the Indiana Supreme Court held.

“While Choate’s performance may well have been deficient, we find that the Indiana Supreme Court’s conclusion … was not an unreasonable one,” Bauer wrote.
 

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  1. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  2. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  3. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  4. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  5. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

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