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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court decides one today

In Randy Edward Johnson v. State of Indiana, an 11-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice Sullivan writes:

The defendant in this criminal case wrote the judge a few months prior to trial complaining that his public defender, who had a well-documented history of neglecting clients, had been neglecting his case. The judge passed the complaint along to the county public defender's office, reasoning that she had no authority to take further action. The judge's failure to inquire further did not violate Johnson's Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel. We hold, however, that a judge faced with similar circumstances must at the very least receive assurances from the public defender's office that the complaint has been adequately addressed. But because Johnson failed to renew his objection at trial and because defense counsel appeared at trial and subjected the States case to meaningful adversarial testing, we affirm.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 8, 2011 03:40 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions