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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ind. Decisions - More on: SCOTUS today denies cert in an Indiana case

Updating this post from June 16th, Rebecca S. Green of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette has a long story today headed "SCOTUS justices send murder appeal back to state." Some quotes:

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of Troy Shaw, a magazine salesman convicted of murder in the 2000 beating death of another man outside a Fort Wayne hotel.

That means a ruling last summer by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stands, and Shaw gets a new appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals.

The ruling at the 7th Circuit basically forces the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana to require the Indiana Court of Appeals to give Shaw’s case another look.

After Shaw’s appeal of his conviction stalled out at the state appellate level, he sought a writ of habeas corpus – or a federal review of his case – in the federal court in Indianapolis. When it denied his request, Shaw appealed to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, and it sided with him.

Judges at the 7th Circuit found that Shaw’s public defender, Gregory Miller, fell below the minimal constitutional requirement for legal effectiveness because he failed to raise the issue of whether it was proper for prosecutors to charge Shaw with murder when they did, a full six months after he was charged with aggravated battery.

When Miller handled Shaw’s appeal, he did argue that there was not sufficient evidence to support a murder conviction. But such an argument is “dead on arrival,” according to the federal appeals court.

In a ruling handed down last September, the 7th Circuit ordered the case to be reconsidered by the federal court in Indianapolis, which promptly granted his request for a new appeal at the Indiana Court of Appeals.

After the state’s loss at the federal appeals court, the office of Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller sought a review of the 7th Circuit’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Monday the SCOTUS denied the request.

After details of the charges involved, the long story concludes:

In December 2002, [public defender] Miller filed an appeal on behalf of Shaw, arguing that the state did not have enough evidence to support the murder charge. The appellate court rejected that argument and upheld Shaw’s conviction in June 2003.

Shaw unsuccessfully sought to have Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck review his case in 2004 and change the outcome; four years later, that request was denied.

Shaw appealed that decision as well.

The state now must comply with the federal appeals court ruling, with any avenue other than a new state-level appeal effectively cut off.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 18, 2014 08:49 AM
Posted to Indiana Decisions