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Justices accept post-conviction relief case

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The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether a man convicted of murder and rape was denied effective assistance of appellate counsel.

The justices accepted just one case last week, Kevin Hampton v. State of Indiana, No. 84S04-1103-PC-161. Kevin Hampton claimed he received ineffective assistance of appellate counsel because his attorney didn’t argue error in the trial court’s ruling on a final instruction. His DNA matched the DNA profile developed from semen on the victim and he was charged with the crimes.

The trial court instructed the jury on direct and circumstantial evidence using the language of Indiana Pattern Jury Instruction (Criminal) 12.01 (2d ed. 1991), but omitted the last sentence of the pattern instruction. Hampton’s trial attorney objected, arguing the instruction should contain the omitted sentence, but on direct appeal Hampton’s appellate attorney didn’t assign this instruction and objection as prejudicial error.

The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that it wasn’t an error in admitting the sentence and found the court’s instruction on proof beyond a reasonable doubt covered the issue and rendered harmless any potential error concerning the necessary proof where the evidence is purely circumstantial.
 

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  1. IF the Right to Vote is indeed a Right, then it is a RIGHT. That is the same for ALL eligible and properly registered voters. And this is, being able to cast one's vote - until the minute before the polls close in one's assigned precinct. NOT days before by absentee ballot, and NOT 9 miles from one's house (where it might be a burden to get to in time). I personally wait until the last minute to get in line. Because you never know what happens. THAT is my right, and that is Mr. Valenti's. If it is truly so horrible to let him on school grounds (exactly how many children are harmed by those required to register, on school grounds, on election day - seriously!), then move the polling place to a different location. For ALL voters in that precinct. Problem solved.

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