ILNews

Justices deny request for additional proceedings in case

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The Indiana Supreme Court has denied a request for successive post-conviction proceedings involving a man convicted of stabbing an elderly DeKalb County man more than two dozen times during a robbery in 1984.

Issued Monday afternoon, the seven-page unanimous order states that David Leon Woods did not meet his burden of establishing a reasonable probability that he ;s entitled to relief based on claims he is mentally retarded and had a disagreement with his attorneys about strategy.

A Boone County jury convicted Woods of murder and robbery. Woods was found guilty of the murder of 77-year-old Juan Placenia, who was an acquaintance of Woods and his mother. He and two others had devised a plan to steal Placenia ;s television, but during the robbery Woods fatally stabbed him in the face, neck, and torso.

The order states that Woods did not prove he is mentally retarded, citing no expert testimony despite one doctor ;s description of "clear evidence of brain damage." A second claim relating to a "conflict of interest" with post-conviction counsel was raised too late, the justices ruled, and that doesn ;t diminish other courts ; conclusions that Woods received a fair post-conviction hearing.

A date for execution will be set by a separate Supreme Court order that has not yet been released.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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