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US Supreme Court declines to hear Fort Wayne case

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The case of an Ohio man sentenced to 60 years for killing a man he found sleeping in a motel room where he and other traveling magazine vendors were staying is headed to the Indiana Court of Appeals after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear it.

The Supreme Court decided Monday against hearing the state's appeal of a 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. The court ruled last year the public defender who handled Shaw's appeal, Gregory Miller, should have challenged the murder charge because prosecutors missed by several months a legal deadline for upgrading the original charge of aggravated battery.

The federal appeals court found that Shaw demonstrated prejudice as he had a reasonable chance of success on appeal but for Miller's deficient performance.

“The bottom line is that attorney Miller was faced with two potential arguments, one undeniably frivolous and the other solidly based on a state statute and reinforced by the Indiana Supreme Court’s pronouncement in Haak. In the face of this choice, Miller opted for the hopeless sufficiency challenge,” Judge Diane Wood wrote in the July 2013 opinion.

Shaw and members of his magazine-selling team attacked Brett King, an univited stranger, in their hotel room. King was chased outside and beaten to death. Shaw and two other men were charged with aggravated battery, although Shaw denied being involved in the attack. The two other men agreed to testify against Shaw, which led to the state seeking to elevate his charge from aggravated battery to murder.

Shaw is being held at the Indiana State Prison.

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  1. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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