The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to get involved in two appeals out of Indiana, upholding federal or state rulings on both cases.
At its private conference on Friday, the nation’s highest court discussed and granted certiorari to six cases from across the country, but none from Indiana. A 16-page order list issued by the court today includes two Indiana cases – one prisoner habeas corpus request from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and one LaPorte County murder case that went as high as the Indiana Court of Appeals.
Justices denied the 7th Circuit case of Courtney C. Dixie v. Bill K. Wilson, Superintendent of the Indiana State Prison, No. 10-5846. The request filed in August stems from a May decision by a three-judge appellate panel that denied the man’s petition for habeas corpus and an application for a certificate of appealability, which found no substantial showing of constitutional rights violations. U.S. Judge Theresa Springmann in the Northern District of Indiana had denied his request for a certificate of appealability earlier in the year, after denying Dixie’s habeas corpus petition late last year in Dixie v. Wilson, No. 3:07-CV-31. This federal litigation stemmed from Dixie’s Allen County murder convictions and 95-year sentence that the state Supreme Court upheld 10 years ago.
A second case included on the SCOTUS order list is Jack Jervis v. Indiana, No. 10-5854, which arises out of the LaPorte Superior Court. In November 2009, the state’s second-highest appellate court upheld a trial court’s denial of post-conviction relief based on ineffective assistance claims relating to his 2001 murder conviction. The Indiana Supreme Court in April denied transfer, but the decision was 3-2 with Justices Frank Sullivan and Theodore Boehm voting to grant transfer. Attorneys filed a writ of certiorari with the SCOTUS in July, and the justices have now denied that request.