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SCOTUS refuses to accept two Indiana cases

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The nation’s highest court has refused to take two Indiana cases, including the high-profile abuse and neglect case of 3-year-old TaJanay Bailey that revealed fatal flaws in the state’s child welfare system.

An order list issued today by the Supreme Court of the United States listed dozens of cases that the justices considered in a private conference late last week. Two from Indiana were listed: the state criminal appeal of Charity E. Bailey v. Indiana, No. 10-74847, and a habeas corpus petition in Russell W. Roach v. Jeff Wrigley, Superintendent, New Castle Correctional Facility, No. 10-639.

The Bailey case stems from the November 2007 killing of TaJanay Bailey, later identified in court documents only as T.B. The child was a ward of the state Department of Child Services and had a history of neglect and placement in foster care homes when she was temporarily returned to her mother. In less than three months she was fatally beaten to death by her mother’s live-in boyfriend. He pled guilty and received a 65-year sentence. Marion Superior Judge Kurt Eisgruber in May 2009 sentenced Charity Bailey to 35 years on a plea agreement for felony neglect of a dependent resulting in death and three felony counts of neglect of a dependent.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that judgment in March 2010, writing that the record reflected that “Bailey is a self-absorbed and self-focused individual, and we cannot say that the 35-year sentence, which was an enhancement of only five years above the advisory sentence for a class A felony, was inappropriate.”

 She asked the Indiana Supreme Court to weigh in, but in June the justices denied transfer. In November, Bailey filed a writ of certiorari with the SCOTUS. The Indiana Attorney General’s Office waived its right to respond, and the justices ultimately rejected Bailey’s petition on Friday.

Bailey is currently in the Indiana Women’s Prison and is eligible for release in March 2025, according to the state Department of Corrections offender database online.

The SCOTUS also declined to hear the Roach appeal.

Last year, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a habeas corpus petition denial by U.S. Chief Judge Richard L. Young in the Southern District of Indiana. Roach was convicted of murder in 1995 and the state courts have since upheld his sentences and denied any post-conviction relief. This paved the way for Roach’s federal claim alleging ineffective assistance of counsel at trial and on appeal, evidence insufficiency on his intent to kill, evidence and witness inadequacies at trial, and the lack of appellate review.

In December 2009, Chief Judge Young ordered that Roach wasn’t entitled to any relief, and the 7th Circuit upheld that decision in July by denying a request for a certificate of appealability. He filed a writ of certiorari in November and the state waived its right to respond before the SCOTUS denied the case on Friday.

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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