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COA orders special prosecutor in Camm trial

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The county prosecutor who signed and later cancelled a book deal about his involvement in the murder trial of David Camm will not be allowed to serve as prosecutor at Camm’s third trial.

The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Tuesday that because Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson signed a contract to co-author and publish a book about Camm’s case prior to his third retrial, Henderson permanently compromised his ability to advocate on behalf of the people of Indiana in the third trial.

The issue came before the appellate court on interlocutory appeal in David R. Camm v. State of Indiana, No. 87A01-1102-CR-25. Camm has twice been convicted of killing his wife and two young children, but both times his convictions were overturned on appeal. Henderson signed an agreement to publish a book about the Camm case before Camm was sentenced to life without parole at his second trial in 2006; that conviction was overturned and Henderson decided to end his contract with the publisher because there was going to be a third trial. He cancelled the contract in September 2009 and does not have a current agreement to write a book about the case, but he has made comments indicating that he is committed to writing the book when able.

Henderson refiled murder charges against Camm on Dec. 1, 2009; that same day, Camm’s attorney filed for appointment of a special prosecutor. The trial court denied the petition in January 2011, in part because Henderson no longer had an active book deal.

“As a result of having signed the literary contract, Henderson has provided Camm with a defense strategy that he would not otherwise have,” wrote Judge John Baker. “Camm may now contend that Henderson’s literary contract, albeit cancelled, and his commitment to write a book influenced his decision to prosecute Camm for a third time. Henderson has made himself an issue at trial, and thus cannot continue to serve as prosecutor in this case.”

Henderson can’t be both committed to writing a book about the Camm case and serve as prosecutor because it creates a conflict of interest between his personal and professional interests. This conflict will undercut Henderson’s ability to represent the people of Indiana’s interests in a just and fair way, wrote Baker.
 

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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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