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Failure to object to anonymous jury not ineffective assistance

September 30, 2013

A man convicted of murdering his 39-week-pregnant estranged wife cannot claim he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney failed to object to an anonymous jury, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.

The Lake Superior jury in 2006 convicted David M. Green of killing his estranged wife, Stacy, and the child she carried during an altercation at Stacy’s home in Griffith. Green’s conviction and consecutive 45-year sentences were previously affirmed by a Court of Appeals panel, and his bid for post-conviction relief was rejected Monday.

“Green argues he was prejudiced because he was denied his right to a jury of ‘known individuals,’” Judge Melissa May wrote for the panel. “He contends he was deprived of the information he needed to make peremptory challenges because he could not compare the jurors’ names to those known to him and counsel.

“Green has not demonstrated he experienced ‘actual prejudice,’ which is required to prevail,” May wrote in David M. Green v. State of Indiana, 45A03-1210-PC-418. She wrote that his argument fails because “Green received the jurors’ names as a part of discovery for his post-conviction case, but he did not present evidence ‘that any juror was related, biologically or emotionally, to any witness or party to the proceedings.’

“Based on the lack of evidence regarding actual prejudice Green experienced, the multiple instructions to the jury about the presumption of Green’s innocence, and the overwhelming evidence against Green, Green has not demonstrated he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel,” May wrote for the panel that also included judges John Baker and Paul Mathias.

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