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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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