My public defender, Bryan Barrett, must be mad at me because I write about the lack of communication between the two of us. In the time since his appointment on 6/20/11 to the writing of this post, 9/26/11, Mr. Barrett’s only meeting with me came on 7/18/11 and, at the time, Mr. Barrett had yet to review over 1,700 pages of documents that the prosecution said they may use against me. Mr. Barrett got angry with me because I repeatedly called the Rush County Public Defender’s Office in an effort to speak to him. Since the office would not accept my calls to take a message for Mr. Barrett, the only way I could reach him was to keep calling in the hopes that he would be in the office and accept my calls. Now it is a week before my jury trial and I don’t even know if Mr. Barrett is going to file the appropriate motion to prevent me from having to appear in front of a jury wearing orange jail clothes.
My mother raised this issue with Mr. Barrett’s assistant on 8/4/11 via email. She informed Justin Kerr that a DCLEC correction officer told me my attorney would have to file a motion to permit me to wear street clothes at trial. Mr. Barrett assigned Kerr, who is not a lawyer, to work on my case in Barrett’s absence. Mr. Kerr replied, “Whoever the alleged corrections officer happens to be, he is he either A) imaginary or B) doesn’t know what he or she is talking about” and claimed Indiana law prohibits jurors from seeing inmates in anything other than street clothes. Section 5.2 of the DCLEC handbook states the inmate’s attorney must request permission from the Court for an inmate to wear the inmate’s own clothes. As for the correction officer who told me this, I talked to Officer Turner yesterday so he definitely is not imaginary.
This is yet another troubling situation during the course of my criminal proceedings. If Bryan Barrett files the appropriate paperwork to allow me to wear a suit and tie, it will demonstrate how non-attorney Kerr not only gave me legal advice, but gave me bad legal advice. I tried to explain to Judge Brian Hill that Barrett’s assistant was acting as a lawyer in Barrett’s absence. Judge Hill assured me that Justin Kerr had only relayed communication and had not participated in any duties requiring an Indiana law license. How would he know? He didn’t. Rather than question me about my allegations or ask for evidence, Rush County Judge Brian Hill assumed that I was either mistaken or lying about Kerr giving legal advice without a law license. Either Judge Hill did not believe or did not care that Justin Kerr, who is an investigator out of the Rush County Public Defender’s Office, was giving bad legal advice.
Bryan Barrett has never asked me about potential evidence or witnesses. He didn’t object to the anonymous jury. Barrett waived my right to raise issues concerning my medical treatment, while incarcerated in the DCLEC. He refused to contact my family and/or my Ohio attorney for information and evidence. Following a hearing on Monday July 18, 2011, he told me that he would meet with me later in the week. He never returned. Barrett refused to subpoena and/or depose any witnesses. He won’t even take the proper measures that would allow me to wear a suit and tie during my jury trial. I have absolutely no knowledge of the strategy for my legal defense. Who knows? Maybe my public defender will fly into the courtroom on October 3rd wearing a cape. Maybe he has a strategy that is infallible. Maybe he already made the arrangements for me to wear my street clothes. For anyone facing prison time, who has spent nearly 7 months in jail, it is a tough pill to swallow. Lawyers usually do not neglect their clients because the news is too good.
It amazes me how such a small group of people can exercise such public incompetence and/or corruption without batting an eye. I was arrested because I made too many negative remarks about public officials; Negangard and McHenry knowingly presented false information/evidence to the court; and I do not have the ability to address it with the Court because Bryan Barrett refused to contact me. My trial will probably be held in the basement of the courthouse so no one can witness the civil right violations. I guess I’ll start ironing my county oranges.