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Justices rule on Post-Conviction Rule 2

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The Indiana Supreme Court was divided in two ways in a case involving Indiana Post-Conviction Rule 2: on what standard to use to judge the performance of PCR 2 counsel and whether a defendant should be allowed to appeal the denial of his petition to file a belated direct appeal.

In Antoine Hill v. State of Indiana, No. 45S03-1105-PC-283, Antoine Hill’s attorney, Tasha Reed, filed a PCR 2 petition, asking permission to file a belated notice of appeal of Hill’s 52-year sentence following a guilty plea. The trial court denied permission and Reed did not timely appeal the denial. Through a different counsel, Hill filed a PCR 1 petition, alleging that Reed was ineffective for not timely appealing the denial of permission to file a belated notice of appeal. The trial court denied the petition, concluding that Hill couldn’t satisfy the ineffective assistance of counsel test set forth in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984).

The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and ordered the trial court to grant the PCR 1 petition so Hill could appeal the denial of his PCR petition. The COA also used the standard set forth in Baum v. State, 533 N.E.2d 1200 (Ind. 1989), to hold that Reed’s performance prevented Hill from appealing the PCR 2 petition denial.

Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard and Justices Brent Dickson, Robert Rucker and Steven David – who authored the majority opinion – agreed that the attorney performance standard from Baum should be used to judge the performance of a PCR 2 counsel. Shepard, David and Dickson held that Reed in this case didn’t violate Baum because she represented Hill in a procedurally fair setting which resulted in a judgment of the court.

Rucker dissented on this point, agreeing with the COA decision that would allow Hill to appeal the denial of his petition to file a belated appeal.

Justice Frank Sullivan concurred in result with the majority in affirming the denial of Hill’s PCR 1 petition, but wrote separately to dissent from the standard used by the other justices. He is in favor of using the standard outlined in Strickland.

 

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  1. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  2. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  3. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  4. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  5. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

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