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Conour asks 7th Circuit for non-public defender to reopen appeal

July 15, 2016

Former Indiana lawyer William Conour filed a pro se jailhouse pleading Thursday asking the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to appoint a non-public defender at taxpayer expense to reopen the limited appeal of his wire fraud conviction.

Conour claims he had ineffective assistance of counsel during his appeal and resentencing because his defenders didn’t argue to widen his arguments beyond improper conditions of release after he serves his 10-year sentence at the Morgantown, West Virginia, Federal Correctional Institution. Conour pleaded guilty to stealing the settlement proceeds of 36 former personal-injury and wrongful death clients. In addition his prison sentence, he was ordered to make restitution of more than $6 million to his victims.

But Conour continues to fight a sentence the 7th Circuit remanded with explicit resentencing instructions limited to vacating the conditions of his supervised release after he serve his time, consistent with the court’s holding in United States v. Thompson, 777. F.3d 368 (7th Cir. 2015).  Chief Judge Richard Young of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana did so earlier this year

“To the best of Defendant-Appellant’s recollection, when this Court vacated his prior sentence and remanded the case back to the District Court for resentencing the resentencing was not limited to the existing record from the first sentencing but was to be a complete new resentencing hearing,” Conour wrote in the brief that also agreed with his most recent public defenders’ motion to withdraw.

Conour, 69, wrote in his brief that his defenders at resentencing in March “submitted no evidence proving any enhancement or establishing any connection to the offense [or] conviction.” He said his arguments over alleged government misconduct and sentencing enhancements, which the 7th Circuit previously rejected, could be waived based on his plea agreement.

Conour requested the court “appoint new counsel who is unaffiliated now or in the past with the Office of the Federal Public Defender to assist him in his current appeal.”

Conour’s projected release date is in March 2022, according to the Bureau of Prisons.
 

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