Public defenders

New report critical of Indiana’s indigent defense

November 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
The report found Indiana is failing to equally provide constitutionally mandated effective counsel to indigent people accused of felony, misdemeanor and juvenile offenses.
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Prosecutors balk at curbing eyewitness identifications

November 2, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Public Defender Council touts the proposed rule as helping to prevent wrongful convictions.
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Report: Indiana fails to provide consistent indigent defense

October 24, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indiana is failing to equally provide constitutionally guaranteed effective counsel to indigent people accused of misdemeanor, felony and juvenile offenses, according to a report released Monday. In some counties, poor people facing criminal charges are encouraged to negotiate directly with prosecutors before being appointed counsel.
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Ex-prosecutor becomes Clark County chief public defender

October 19, 2016
 Associated Press
After nearly 14 years with the Floyd County Prosecutor's Office, Abraham Navarro has jumped over to Clark County to serve as chief public defender.
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COA vacates public defender, probation fees for indigent man

September 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has vacated an order for a man convicted of public intoxication and found to be indigent to pay more than $600 in public defender and probation fees.
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Groups cite inadequate funds to defend death row inmate

August 22, 2016
 Associated Press
Five legal groups are supporting a Missouri death row inmate, whose execution was halted hours before it was to be carried out in 2014, saying that he can't receive an adequate defense with the money allocated.
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Conour defender asks off case, cites ‘near adversarial relationship’

July 7, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal public defender representing former attorney William Conour has asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to remove her “due to the near adversarial relationship now existing between attorney and client.”
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Maryland public defender arrested for DUI, assault on cop

June 24, 2016
 Associated Press
A public defender in Annapolis, Maryland has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and kneeing an arresting officer in the groin.
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High-profile cases deplete county's public defender fund

May 31, 2016
 Associated Press
Officials are blaming an increase in drug-related activity and crime spilling over from Indianapolis for draining a suburban county's $500,000 public defender fund.
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COA: Man should have met with state public defender’s office

February 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the grant of the state’s motion for summary denial of man’s request for post-conviction relief because his case was not forwarded to the State Public Defender’s Office.
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Suit filed against Allen County over public defender system

January 6, 2016
 Associated Press
A second county in Indiana is facing a federal lawsuit claiming that its public defender system violates indigent defendants' rights to adequate legal defense.
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Johnson County judges, public defenders sued for ‘systemic’ problems

October 8, 2015
Dave Stafford
People who’ve been arrested in Johnson County are taking the unusual step of filing a class-action lawsuit against the county, judges and public defenders there, claiming they have not been represented by an underfunded and overburdened public defender system.
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Public defender charged with sex offenses involving inmates

June 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis attorney and ex-judge working as a Shelby County public defender has been charged with three counts of sexual misconduct and one count of official misconduct after he was accused of inappropriately touching inmates at the Shelbyville jail. Authorities said one instance was recorded on video.
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Public defender’s brief stricken, COA orders ‘competent counsel’ appointed

March 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reiterated Wednesday for at least the fourth time in seven years to a public defender that he cannot use the “manifestly unreasonable” argument to challenge a client’s voluntary manslaughter sentence.
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Indiana judge admonishes abducted teens' sister at hearing

March 9, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis judge admonished the sister of two Indianapolis teenagers kidnapped and held for ransom after she allegedly stole from her ex-boyfriend.
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Judge: No 2nd lawyer for defendant in Hartford City killings

March 4, 2015
 Associated Press
A Blackford County judge has denied a request for a second court-appointed lawyer from an eastern Indiana man accused of killing a father and daughter.
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Conour appeal focuses on defense withdrawal, sentencing terms

December 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
Convicted fraudster and ex-attorney William Conour’s appeal of his conviction and 10-year sentence on a federal wire fraud charge argues the court failed to investigate his defense counsel’s withdrawal. His appeal also claims that the court wrongly imposed “suspicionless” searches and other conditions of supervised release following his imprisonment.
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NDLS loan repayment program growing in dollars and applications

October 20, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Notre Dame Law School’s program to assist its graduates who pursue careers in the public service sector has reached the $1 million milestone.
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Judge pushes for full-time public defender office

October 20, 2014
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana judge says his county needs a full-time public defender office to ensure those who can't afford attorneys receive strong legal representation.
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Millions more sought for representation of juveniles

October 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
The money is needed for guardians ad litem and court appointed special advocates, and to pay for the new rule requiring defenders in delinquency cases.
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State's way of paying public defenders debated

September 24, 2014
 Associated Press
The state pays the salaries of its judges and prosecutors, but public defenders are paid by counties that are only partially reimbursed for their costs — an approach that some including the executive director of the Indiana Public Defender Council want to see changed.
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Deficient counsel does not overcome convincing evidence

August 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Even though the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals spelled out in a 17-page opinion what defense counsel should have done during a bench trial, the appellate panel ultimately concluded the deficient representation did not prejudice the case.
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Additional public defender fees without hearing affirmed

July 25, 2014
A man who appealed a court order that he pay fees in excess of the statutory public defender fee capped at $100 lost his appeal, though one judge said the trial court must hold a hearing on the defendant’s ability to pay.
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New Indiana criminal code being implemented in courtrooms

July 16, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Prosecutors, public defenders and judges around the state have been attending special seminars, updating computer programs and reading through the new criminal code in preparation for the switch. Many say they will need about six months before they feel comfortable with the new code, and they expect they will be juggling cases charged under the old code for at least another 12 to 18 months.
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Conour defender asks to withdraw from 7th Circuit appeal

May 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
The public defender appointed to represent convicted fraudster and former leading personal-injury attorney William Conour has asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to withdraw from the case, citing an unspecified conflict of interest.
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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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