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Life sentence upheld by Court of Appeals

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A Grant County man who killed his ex-wife in the middle of the night after breaking into her Marion home will spend the rest of his life in prison, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. The judges affirmed the denial of Fred Laux’s petition for post-conviction relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel.

Laux claimed on appeal that his trial counsel was ineffective for, among other things, failing to properly question a juror regarding bias and not adequately preparing for the penalty phase of his trial. Laux also argued that his appellate counsel was ineffective for not raising all of the alleged errors on direct appeal.

In Fredrick Allen Laux v. State of Indiana, 27A04-1205-PC-269, the Court of Appeals found that Laux failed to show he received ineffective assistance from either counsel.

The record in this case indicates that the juror – who had been a crime victim – was objective and competent and prepared to follow the law as the trial court would instruct, the judges held.

Regarding the penalty phase, they found that the state properly moved to have all the evidence from the guilt phase admitted at the penalty phase, and that the jury was properly instructed that it could only consider the charged aggravator as weighing in favor of a life without parole sentence and not victim impact evidence.

“In sum, we conclude that Laux was provided effective representation of counsel at the penalty phase. Moreover, Laux merely restates his claims about the ineffectiveness of trial counsel and alleges that appellate counsel was ineffective for not raising the issues on appeal under the doctrine fundamental error,” Judge John Baker wrote.

“As the post-conviction court properly found, because trial counsel was not deficient and/or that any deficiency was not prejudicial, appellate counsel was not deficient for failing to raise Laux’s alleged claims of error on appeal. In other words, Laux does not demonstrate how the result of his direct appeal would have been different had these issues been raised. Therefore, it cannot be said that Laux’s appellate counsel was ineffective. As a result, the post-conviction court properly denied Laux’s request for relief.”

 

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  1. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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