Kennedy v. State

Decision Date16 August 1979
Docket NumberNo. 478S77,478S77
Citation271 Ind. 382,393 N.E.2d 139
PartiesPaul Thomas KENNEDY, Appellant (Defendant Below), v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff Below).
CourtIndiana Supreme Court
Harriette Bailey Conn, Public Defender, Susan K. Carpenter, Deputy Public Defender, Indianapolis, for appellant

Theo. L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Robert J. Black, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

PRENTICE, Justice.

This is an appeal from the denial of post conviction relief. Defendant (Petitioner) was charged with murder in 1961. A determination of incompetency to stand trial delayed his trial until 1969, at which time he was convicted of First Degree Murder in a trial by jury and was sentenced to death. That conviction was reversed by this Court and the cause remanded for a new trial. Kennedy v. State, (1972) 258 Ind. 211, 280 N.E.2d 611. He was re-tried, without a jury, found guilty of Second Degree Murder, and sentenced to life imprisonment. That conviction was affirmed. Kennedy v. State, (1974) 262 Ind. 295, 315 N.E.2d 350. In 1977, Defendant filed his petition for post conviction relief. He now appeals the denial of that petition and assigns the following issues for review:

(1) Whether Defendant had been adequately represented by counsel.

(2) Whether the State had sustained its burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt, that Defendant was sane at the time he committed the offense.

(3) Whether Defendant had waived his right to trial by jury.

(4) Whether the imposition of a life sentence was constitutional.

"At the outset, we note that the petitioner in a post-conviction proceeding has the burden of establishing his grounds for relief by a preponderance of the evidence. Ind.R.P.C. 1, § 5. The judge hearing the petition weighs the evidence and the credibility of the witnesses. Davis v.

State, supra ((1975) Ind., 330 N.E.2d 738). His determination will be reversed only where the evidence is without conflict and leads unerringly to a result not reached by the trial court." Carroll v. State, (1976) 265 Ind. 423, 355 N.E.2d 408. See also, Rector v. State, (1979) Ind., 389 N.E.2d 279.


In testifying at his post conviction hearing, the defendant detailed numerous complaints about his attorney, to-wit: that he had requested other counsel on several occasions, that his attorney had failed to file a Motion for Speedy Trial as Defendant had requested, that his attorney had failed to call Defendant's parole officer as a witness, that his attorney had never explained the difference between a trial by the court and a trial by jury, that his attorney had chosen a trial by court in a misguided attempt to avoid another death sentence (misguided, Defendant contends) because a competent trial attorney would have realized that the death penalty statute in existence in 1973 in Indiana was unlikely to withstand constitutional scrutiny in light of the United States Supreme Court's decision in Furman v. Georgia, (1972) 408 U.S. 238, 92 S.Ct. 2726, 33 L.Ed.2d 346, and that his attorney had failed to file a motion to suppress an allegedly impermissibly suggestive line-up.

In opposition, the attorney denied that petitioner had sought other counsel, had ever expressed dissatisfaction with his services, or had ever requested a speedy trial. He explained that he had not called upon the parole officer to testify because of the officer's limited contact with the defendant and because that testimony would have been merely repetitive of testimony by other defense witnesses. He further testified that, while he could not specifically recall explaining to Defendant the difference between a trial by the court and a trial by jury, he was "quite sure" that he had done so, because he makes it a practice to do so. He further testified that he chose a trial by court as a matter of strategy because he believed that, in such a case as this, a trial judge would be better able than a jury to understand and appreciate an insanity defense as evidenced by the jury verdict in the first trial wherein insanity had been the defense. As for the failure of the attorney to object to a suggestive line-up procedure, the State revealed that the in-court identifications had had substantial bases, independent of the line-up. The attorney also further testified that he had spent "well in excess of a hundred hours, probably closer to two hundred hours" on the first trial, and more than forty hours on the re-trial.

"Incompetency of counsel revolves around the particular facts of each case. There is a presumption that counsel has been competent. Strong and convincing evidence is required to rebut this presumption." (Citations omitted.) Roberts v. State, (1977) 266 Ind. 72, 80, 360 N.E.2d 825, 829.

We are here dealing with factual disputes and issues of strategy. The factual disputes were decided against the defendant by the hearing judge; and, as for the matters of trial strategy, we stated in Blackburn v. State, (1973) 260 Ind. 5, 22, 291 N.E.2d 686, 696, "Isolated poor strategy, bad tactics, a mistake, carelessness, or inexperience does not necessarily amount to ineffective counsel unless, taken as a whole, the trial was a mockery of justice." In the case at bar, the defendant did not meet his burden of showing that he was inadequately represented. Cottingham v. State, (1978) Ind., 379 N.E.2d 984.


This same issue was formerly presented and determined on direct appeal. See Kennedy v. State, (1974) 262 Ind. 295, 315 N.E.2d 350. Issues raised and determined on direct appeal are not reviewable in a subsequent post conviction proceeding. Frasier v. State, (1977) Ind., 366 N.E.2d 1166; Layton v. State, (1974) 261 Ind. 567, 307 N.E.2d 477.


Defendant asserts that the hearing court erred in holding that he had voluntarily "THE COURT: Is that correct with you, Mr. Kennedy, you wish to waive trial by jury and have the trial just by myself, is that correct?

knowingly, and intelligently waived his right to a trial by jury. He contends that the record is devoid of evidence that his waiver of this fundamental right was voluntary and informed, except for the [271 Ind. 386] following brief exchange between the defendant and the trial judge:


Defendant testified at his post conviction hearing that neither his attorney nor the trial judge explained to him the difference between a trial by the court and a trial by jury. However, his former attorney testified that he was "quite sure" that he and the defendant had discussed the difference between the two types of trials. We do not judge the credibility of the witnesses nor weigh conflicting evidence. Rosell v. State, (1976) 265 Ind. 173, 352 N.E.2d 750, and cases there cited.

However, the defendant argues that it must appear in the trial record itself that he voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently waived his right, citing Johnson v. Zerbst, (1938) 304 U.S. 458, 58 S.Ct. 1019, 82 L.Ed. 1461; Brady v. United States, (1970) 397 U.S. 742, 90 S.Ct. 1463, 25 L.Ed.2d 747; and Brimhall v. State, (1972) 258 Ind. 153, 279 N.E.2d 557.

Petitioner has not explained how the cases are supportive of his argument and we do not find them to be directly on point. In Johnson v. Zerbst, supra, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the trial judge has the duty to determine whether there is an intelligent and competent waiver of the accused's Right to counsel and "it would be fitting and appropriate for that determination to appear upon the record." 304 U.S. at 465, 58 S.Ct. at 1023, 82 L.Ed. at 1467. In that case, Defendant was not informed of his right to counsel, or that one would be appointed for him if he could not afford one.

The issue in Brady v. United States, supra, and Brimhall v. State, supra, was whether a Guilty plea was voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently entered. We unanimously held in the Brimhall case that the record must affirmatively demonstrate that the accused voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently entered his guilty plea, and that the record further indicate that Defendant was informed that, by entering a plea of guilty, he was waiving many of his constitutional rights. This requirement is set out in Rule 10 of our Rules of Criminal Procedure and Ind.Code § 35-4.1-1-3, et seq. (Burns 1975).

There is, however, no parallel statutory or constitutional requirement that the trial judge explain to Defendant the difference between a trial by court and by jury; nor is there any requirement that the trial record demonstrate that Defendant understood the difference. Kindle v. State, (1974) 161...

To continue reading

Request your trial
21 cases
  • Van Bibber v. Norris
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • June 3, 1980
    ... ... 541, 255 N.E.2d 822, 826. This case comes to us with the presumption that the trial court reached the correct result. Souerdike v. State, (1952) 231 Ind. 204, 108 N.E.2d 136, 137. We first address the bank's arguments concerning liability. Following that we will discuss Van Bibber's ... This waives the bank's alleged error. Ind. Rules of Procedure, Appellate Rule 8.3(A)(7); In re Kesler, (1979) Ind., 397 N.E.2d 574, 576; Kennedy v. State, (1979) Ind., 393 N.E.2d 139, 143; Faught v. State, (1979) Ind., 390 N.E.2d 1001, 1016; Moten v. State, (1978) Ind., 380 N.E.2d 544, 547 ... ...
  • Adams v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • January 26, 1982
    ... ... All these allegations of error were treated by this Court in the direct appeal and were decided adversely to appellant. Issues raised and determined on direct appeal are not reviewable in a post-conviction proceeding. Kennedy v. State, (1979) Ind., 393 N.E.2d 139; Eliacin v. State, (1978) 269 Ind. 305, 380 N.E.2d 548; Frasier v. State, (1977) 267 Ind. 24, 366 N.E.2d 1166; Ind.R.P.C. 1, § 8. The trial court did not err in granting the State's motion to strike those parts of the petition ...         Appellant ... ...
  • Ind. State Police v. Damore
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • August 26, 2022
    ...most favorably would suffice for a reasonable juror to decide the issue in the party's favor. Id. (citing Sims , 271 Ind. at 373, 393 N.E.2d at 139 ). Applying this deliberately low bar, we conclude that there was evidence supporting the Defendants’ Proposed Instruction No. 14.50] As noted ......
  • Boone v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • June 20, 1983
    ... ...         "We are not at liberty to set aside a sentence simply because, on the record, it may seem severe. It is only when the sentence is grossly disproportionate or unquestionably excessive that the constitutional limitations are intended to apply." Kennedy v. State, (1979) Ind., 393 N.E.2d 139, 143, cert. denied, (1980) 444 U.S. 1047, 100 S.Ct. 737, 62 L.Ed.2d 734. (Citations omitted) ...         The post conviction judge expressed considerable hesitation to revise Petitioner's statutorily mandated sentence for fear of acting beyond his ... ...
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT