ILNews

High court takes post-conviction case

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Thursday to a post-conviction case in which the defendant, who spoke only Spanish, claimed he didn't enter his plea knowingly or intelligently.

Efren R. Diaz appealed the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, which was upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals in Efren R. Diaz v. State of Indiana, No. 20A05-0903-PC-165. At his post-conviction hearing, Diaz presented the testimony of Christina Courtright, a certified court interpreter, who said there were several problems with the translation of Diaz's guilty plea. During the sentencing, Diaz stated he could understand the translator, but on appeal claimed he didn't fully understand. 

Courtright prepared a chart outlining the errors, but it wasn't allowed into evidence because of hearsay. The appellate court upheld the plea because it found Diaz failed to show he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel, that it wasn't an error to not allow Courtright's chart, and that he knowingly and intelligently entered his plea to possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and dealing in methamphetamine.

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

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

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