Public defenders

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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Proposed criminal justice complex draws 5 bidders

February 12, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Five groups of developers have responded to Indianapolis' call for candidates to build a new criminal justice complex.
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Indy attorney: airport site 'cannot' work for justice complex

February 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis International Airport may be officials’ preferred location for a proposed Criminal Justice Complex, but some attorneys who work in the system are critical of the idea.
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Every defendant has a story

January 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
After 11 grueling years on the high-profile Camm murder case, attorney Stacy Uliana believes justice was served.
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Federal judge orders new trial in felony gun possession case

December 19, 2013
Dave Stafford
Finding the interests of justice require a new trial for a man convicted of a federal gun crime in which the government withheld potentially exculpatory evidence, Judge William T. Lawrence granted his request Wednesday in the Southern District of Indiana Terre Haute division.
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Convicted Conour wants to keep fees, attorney says

August 21, 2013
IL Staff
Despite pleading guilty to wire fraud on government charges that he took more than $4.5 million from at least 25 clients, William Conour’s public defender argues the former attorney is entitled to some $2 million in legal fees on cases other attorneys worked.
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Senators skeptical of funding Odyssey access for public defenders

March 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
Senate budget writers appeared skeptical of a request Thursday to spend more than $2.1 million over the next four years to give public defenders statewide the same access to case management systems that prosecutors, judges and others have in many counties.
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Justices order new trial for man tried in absentia

February 19, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A North Carolina man who was convicted of two counts of Class C felony neglect of a dependent by an Elkhart Superior Court while the defendant was on a bus on the way to court will get a new trial, the Indiana Supreme Court concluded Tuesday.
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Low pay leads to high job turnover

November 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Salaries in the public sector are causing the criminal justice system to suffer.
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Death penalty foe Foster pumps up federal defenders

October 10, 2012
Dave Stafford
Taking charge at Indiana Federal Community Defenders Inc. in the Southern District, Monica Foster's seeking, and getting, bigger caseloads.
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Lawyers relax and find camaraderie in softball league of their own

July 4, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Lawyer League softball is an annual summertime league in Indianapolis that's been around for more than 30 years.
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Hogsett lifts US attorney's public profile

June 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
One expert says federal prosecutors have become more visible across the country.
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Dressing defendants

May 23, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
Attorneys say image and attire may influence jurors.
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Court splits over motion for discharge ruling

January 18, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues in a Criminal Rule 4(B) motion for discharge case, disagreeing with the interpretation of language in Jenkins v. State regarding the relevant time for purposes of determining whether a defendant can file a pro se motion for a speedy trial.
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Economic woes hitting state's public defense

August 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Years ago, those working in the Porter County Public Defender Office reported seeing a bright blue Post-it note tagged to their caseload reports that said, “HELP!” in huge hand-written print. That was a common occurrence at a time when the local public defender’s office faced a critical overload point because of skyrocketing caseloads and too few attorneys.
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Man entitled to warning that conduct may waive right to counsel

August 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the finding that a man charged with murder is no longer indigent and that his difficult behavior caused him to waive or forfeit his right to appointed counsel. The appellate court concluded that the judge considered the defendant’s conduct, not his ability to pay, when finding him no longer indigent.
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New state public defender, BLE director chosen

June 16, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Announcing two new appointments simultaneously, the Indiana Supreme Court has chosen the state public defender and director of the Board of Law Examiners.
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Second-in-command becomes acting state public defender

June 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
State Public Defender Susan Carpenter retired May 31 after nearly three decades in that position, and her chief deputy took charge of the office until the Indiana Supreme Court appoints a successor.
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Court hasn't chosen new state public defender

May 31, 2011
Michael Hoskins
State Public Defender Susan Carpenter retires Tuesday after nearly three decades in that position, and no decision has been made as to who will succeed her.
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Court rules on public defender fee imposition

May 27, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has decided that a state statute’s indigency hearing requirement doesn’t apply when a defendant has entered into a cash bail-bond agreement, meaning a trial court can use that bond money to pay court costs such as the imposed public defender fee.
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Views shift on use of executions

May 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
What if 1976 hadn’t played out the way it did, and some of the jurists on the U.S. Supreme Court had held the view of capital punishment at that juncture that they did at the end of their judicial careers? The death penalty may never have been reinstated.
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Mental aspect of capital cases can be challenging

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When it comes to tallying the total price of capital punishment, the cost of those cases for the legal community is more than just expansive legalese and court procedures that span a decade or two.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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