« Ind. Courts - "Judge Morton retired: Have garden, will travel" | Main | Ind. Courts - More on "A call for a moratorium on executions" »

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ind. Decisions - Brief filed in response to AG's July 27th petition for rehearing in David Camm case

Updating this ILB entry from July 28, which includes a link to the AG's petition for rehearing, and this entry from August 2nd, today Harold J. Adams of the Louisville Courier Journal reports:

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled clearly and correctly when it overturned the triple-murder conviction of former Indiana State Trooper David Camm and should stick with that decision, Camm's lawyers have argued in a brief filed with the court.

The brief submitted Friday came in response to a July 27 petition from the Indiana Attorney General's office asking the court to reconsider its ruling that struck down Camm's 2006 conviction of murdering his wife Kimberly Camm and their children, Bradley, 7, and Jill, 5, in the garage of their Georgetown home in 2000.

“There's really no reason for a rehearing,” defense attorney Stacy Uliana said in an interview Monday. “Everything's been thoroughly considered and argued and briefed almost to exhaustion and they haven't presented anything new.”

In its 4-1 decision in June, the Supreme Court ruled that Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson should not have been allowed to argue that Camm's motive for shooting his family was to cover up alleged sexual molestation of his daughter.

“The state built its entire theory on the molestation” as well as hearsay testimony from a friend of Kim Camm that she was going to meet her husband at home between 7 and 7:30 p.m. on the night of the murders, David Camm's lawyers wrote. “If the molestation or hearsay goes, the house of cards falls.” * * *

Camm has twice been convicted of the killings, but both convictions were overturned. The Indiana Court of Appeals, in rejecting the first conviction, cautioned the prosecution about relying on the molestation claim.

“That appellate court told them, ‘This is very shaky ground. Do not go there.' And they went there anyway because they don't have a case without it,” Uliana said. * * *

After Camm's retrial ended, jurors took the unusual step of calling a news conference where they cited the molestation claim as a primary reason they convicted Camm. But one of the jurors wrote a letter to the Supreme Court last month claiming that evidence wasn't an important factor.

Juror Darlene Short wrote in a July 2 letter that “these injuries were not the basis of the guilty verdict. … I strongly encourage the Indiana Supreme Court to hold a second hearing … due to the overwhelming admissible evidence that points to Camm's presence at the time of this tragic crime.”

But Supreme Court Administrator Kevin Smith, in an Aug. 13 response to Short, said the rules governing judicial conduct and appellate procedure “prevent the justices from considering letters from jurors or other persons interested in the case.” Smith concluded, “your letter has not been and will not be considered by the court.”

The ILB would like to obtain a copy of the Camm brief for posting.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 18, 2009 12:09 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions