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Man convicted in 1963 of murder not diligent in pursuing appeal

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has denied George Cole’s petition for permission to file a belated notice of appeal following his 1963 murder conviction of a cab driver in Indianapolis and life sentence.

Cole agreed to plead guilty to the killing as second degree murder but later sought to withdraw his plea, which was denied. In 1969, he filed a petition for post-conviction relief, which was denied. In 1971, Cole escaped from prison and wasn’t caught until 2001. Then, he filed several petitions and motions but none sought permission to file a belated notice of appeal.

Cole claims he didn’t learn that he could seek permission to file a belated appeal until April 2012, when he filed his petition. The trial court determined Cole wasn’t credible in claiming he had just learned of the possibility of filing a belated notice of appeal and denied his petition.

In George Cole v. State of Indiana, 29A02-1301-CR-4, Cole maintained he was diligent because he pursued the petition as soon as he learned from a fellow inmate that he could do so. He also points to his numerous other filings to demonstrate that he would have pursued the belated appeal had he known of the option.

“However, the trial court explicitly found that Cole was not credible in claiming he had just learned of the possibility of filing a belated notice of appeal. We may not disturb that credibility determination on appeal,” Senior Judge Betty Barteau wrote.

“Given that the trial court did not believe Cole’s claim as well as the fact that nearly five decades had passed from the time of his conviction until he finally sought an appeal under Post-Conviction Rule 2, we cannot say the court abused its discretion by concluding Cole was not diligent in pursuing permission to file a belated notice of appeal and by thus denying his petition for permission to file a belated notice of appeal.”

 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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