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Defender’s trial strategy trumps inmate’s pro se early-trial request

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A prison inmate who asked for a public defender then said at an initial hearing he wanted to “file for fast and speedy trial too” lost his appeal that argued the court erred by not ruling on his request and his trial counsel was ineffective.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a Class C felony forgery conviction in Randy E. Black v. State of Indiana, 01A04-1310-CR-526. Black was convicted after a bench trial in Adams Superior Court.

Black, who was serving a sentence in the Department of Correction on unrelated charges, was appointed a public defender during an initial hearing, then made a verbal request for an early trial. But because a defender had been appointed, that decision was a matter of strategy allocated to defense counsel, Judge Michael Barnes wrote for the panel.

The record also does not establish that public defender Albert Anzini III’s assistance fell below an objective standard of reasonableness.

"Black provides no evidence that the decision not to pursue an early trial wasn’t a matter of strategy," Barnes wrote. "In fact, the record shows, that in March 2013, the State extended a plea offer, and Anzini hoped to have the matter resolved.

"The record also shows that Black’s incarceration in the DOC impacted Anzini’s ability to communicate with Black and to prepare a defense. At the April 23, 2013 hearing, Anzini and the State jointly moved for a continuance of the May trial date, and Anzini explained that he had 'not really had an opportunity to talk to Mr. Black in any meaningful fashion ... about his potential defenses.”





 

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  1. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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