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Judges affirm denial of post-conviction relief

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The Indiana Court of Appeals found a man’s double jeopardy claims were without merit, so his trial and direct appeal attorneys’ failure to raise these claims created no prejudice.

Juan Garrett was charged with several offenses, including two counts of rape stemming from an incident in his apartment with the victim and two other men. He was found not guilty of one count of Class A felony rape, and the jury couldn’t reach a verdict on the other Class A felony rape charge. Both charges alleged Garrett raped the victim while armed with a knife.

Garrett was retried on the second rape charge and found guilty of rape as a Class B felony because the victim testified she hadn’t seen anyone touch the knife.

Garrett appealed the conviction, which the COA affirmed. He then filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that his trial and direct appeal attorneys were ineffective because they didn’t raise double jeopardy claims either by filing to dismiss the charges or arguing at retrial that the second rape charge was impermissible. The post-conviction court denied his request.

The judges looked at Garrett’s claims using the federal double jeopardy clause and the state’s constitution to find that the retrial of the second rape charge didn’t violate his Fifth Amendment protection against double jeopardy or the statutory elements test of the Indiana double jeopardy clause.

“If the jury had concluded that the State had failed to prove that neither rape occurred, then it would have acquitted Garrett of both charges of rape. Thus, a rational jury could have grounded its vote to acquit on one count of rape on issues unrelated to the second rape charge. We conclude that collateral estoppel did not bar relitigation of the second count of rape,” wrote Senior Judge Betty Barteau in Juan M. Garrett v. State of Indiana, No. 49A04-1107-PC-410.

 

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