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7th Circuit rejects prisoner’s ineffective assistance appeal

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A man convicted of attempted murder failed to convince a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that he suffered sufficient prejudice to warrant relief from a 90-year sentence imposed after a brutal crime.

The panel affirmed District Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s denial of a writ of habeas corpus in Che B. Carter v. Keith Butts, 13-2466. Che Carter and another man viciously assaulted Donna Stegemiller in her home in 1990. In 1991, Carter was convicted of burglary, robbery, rape and attempted murder.

Carter’s post-conviction petition was denied by the Indiana Supreme Court, which vacated a Court of Appeals finding that Carter had received ineffective assistance of counsel and was therefore entitled to relief. The Supreme Court found Carter had not met the prejudice element of the two-prong test for ineffective assistance established in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984).

“We do not find that the Indiana Supreme Court unreasonably applied clearly established federal law; rather, we find that the Indiana Supreme Court reasonably concluded that Carter was not sufficiently prejudiced by (attorney Belle) Choate’s failure to challenge the attempted murder jury instruction to warrant relief,” Judge William J. Bauer wrote for the panel.

The jury instructions and evidence as a whole made clear to the jury that it was required to find that Carter intended to kill Stegemiller in order to convict, the Indiana Supreme Court held.

“While Choate’s performance may well have been deficient, we find that the Indiana Supreme Court’s conclusion … was not an unreasonable one,” Bauer wrote.
 

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  1. Major social engineering imposed by judicial order well in advance of democratic change, has been the story of the whole post ww2 period. Contraception, desegregation, abortion, gay marriage: all rammed down the throats of Americans who didn't vote to change existing laws on any such thing, by the unelected lifetime tenure Supreme court heirarchs. Maybe people came to accept those things once imposed upon them, but, that's accommodation not acceptance; and surely not democracy. So let's quit lying to the kids telling them this is a democracy. Some sort of oligarchy, but no democracy that's for sure, and it never was. A bourgeois republic from day one.

  2. JD Massur, yes, brings to mind a similar stand at a Texas Mission in 1836. Or Vladivostok in 1918. As you seemingly gloat, to the victors go the spoils ... let the looting begin, right?

  3. I always wondered why high fence deer hunting was frowned upon? I guess you need to keep the population steady. If you don't, no one can enjoy hunting! Thanks for the post! Fence

  4. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  5. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

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