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COA finds attorney was not ineffective

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a man’s petition for post-conviction relief, finding he failed to establish that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel with respect to either the manner in which voir dire was conducted or in the failure to object to the supplemental jury instruction defining “intentionally.”

Wayne Campbell appealed the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, which challenged his convictions on two counts of attempted murder and one count of Class B felony burglary. The convictions stem from an altercation he got into with neighbors over use of an easement. He attacked Alva and Jean Kincaid, striking them with a shotgun and causing severe injuries.

In his petition, Campbell claimed his attorney was ineffective by engaging in improper voir dire during jury selection and by failing to object to a jury instruction regarding the definition of “intentionally” that was given during deliberations in response to a jury question requesting “the definition of intent.”

Campbell took issue with the hypothetical questions his trial counsel proposed to prospective jurors. His attorney explained that he was attempting to find jurors who would be receptive to a claim of self-defense. The Court of Appeals pointed out that the hypotheticals did not incorrectly suggest that Campbell was going to pursue a defense of abandonment, as he claimed, and instead explored the jurors’ understanding of the substantial step requirement for attempt crimes.  

“We cannot say trial counsel performed below an objective standard of reasonableness in the manner in which he conducted voir dire. To hold otherwise would be tantamount to hyper-regulation and second-guessing of trial counsel’s strategy and tactics, a task we cannot and should not undertake,” Judge Michael Barnes wrote in Wayne Campbell v. State of Indiana, 13A05-1304-PC-201.

Campbell also argued that the trial court erred in giving the instruction to the jury when it asked for a definition of “intent” during its deliberations: “A person engages in conduct ‘intentionally’ if, when he engages in the conduct, it is his conscious objective to do so. If a person is charged with intentionally causing a result by his conduct, it must have been his conscious objective not only to engage in the conduct, but to cause the result.”

He believed the second statement shouldn’t have been given because it is a misstatement of the law. But the instruction is from the Indiana Pattern Jury Instructions. The appellate court noted that there is some tension as to whether this second sentence is a correct statement of the law that has yet to be resolved by the Indiana Supreme Court.

“Regarding reasonable performance, trial counsel indicated at the post-conviction hearing that he doubted any objection to the instruction would have been fruitful because it was a pattern instruction,” Barnes wrote.

Since there is no unequivocal legal basis upon which counsel should have objected, the appellate court declined to say Campbell’s attorney performed deficiently.




 

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  1. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  2. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  3. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  4. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  5. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

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