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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. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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