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. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.