Belated Criminal Appeals

Darby v. State (Ind. Ct. App. April 19, 2012)

In this criminal appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s denial of the defendant’s petition to file a belated notice of appeal. After being sentenced to life imprisonment for murder in 1970, the defendant escaped from prison in 1972 and was a fugitive until 2007. In 2011, she filed a belated notice of appeal. The Court of Appeals recognized the constitutional right to appeal a criminal conviction and the post-conviction rule that allows criminal defendants to seek leave to file late notices of appeal (P.C.R.2(1)(a)) but held the defendant was not without fault for the extensive delay in seeking leave to appeal.

Although favorable to the State, this opinion includes some good general discussion of belated criminal appeals and is a good starting place for post-conviction or appellate attorneys dealing with belated appeals.

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