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COA finds petitioner failed to show trial counsel was ineffective

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In affirming a post-conviction court’s judgment, the Indiana Court of Appeals found a convicted child molester failed to carry his burden in claiming that his attorney was ineffective.

Ian McCullough was convicted of two counts of Class A felony child molesting and one court of Class C felony child molesting. After his convictions were affirmed on direct appeal, he sought post-conviction relief on the grounds that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel.

The post-conviction court denied McCullough’s petition.

On appeal in Ian McCullough vs. State of Indiana, 49A02-1106-PC-57, McCullough argues that his trial counsel was ineffective on numerous grounds including that counsel failed to object to evidence of prior uncharged misconduct and to the prosecutor’s references to that misconduct; failed to adequately cross-examine the state’s investigators; failed to make an offer of proof when the trial court excluded his expert’s testimony; failed to present expert evidence of child memory; failed to present certain evidence; and failed to request the jury instruction as mandated by the Protected Person Statute.

The COA noted that to be successful in the claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, the petitioner must demonstrate both that his counsel’s performance was deficient and that the petitioner was prejudiced by the deficient performance.

In reviewing the claim, the COA concluded that McCullough failed to carry his burden to show that the evidence, as a whole, leads unerringly and unmistakably to a conclusion different from that of the post-conviction court.

Judge Elaine Brown dissented. She wrote, “While some of the errors by trial counsel may not individually be sufficient to prove ineffective representation, when viewed cumulatively counsel’s overall performance fell below the prevailing professional norms….”


 

 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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