COA: Court disregarded procedures in PCR case

The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a man’s denied petition for relief from what he alleged as conspiracy to wrongfully convict and confine him, among other things, after finding a post-conviction court erred in the procedure it used to dispose of his petition.

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Woman’s murder conviction vacated for ineffective counsel

A woman with a history of mental illness who was convicted in 2002 of murdering her boyfriend after testifying the she heard a voice telling her she was the Messiah has won her federal habeas case asserting ineffective assistance of counsel. She will be freed unless the state opts within 120 days to retry her.

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Divided justices deny child murderer death penalty relief

The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the denial of post-conviction relief for a convicted child murderer and arsonist sentenced to death, finding that while the man’s counsel did make mistakes, those mistakes did not rise to the Strickland level of deficient performance. However, Chief Justice Loretta Rush dissented and would have allowed the case to proceed to a new penalty phase.

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