> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Balancing the scales of justice
Recently the Zoeller family and friends gathered to mourn the loss and celebrate the life of my cousin, Chris Zoeller, a New Albany native who was well known in the courts of Marion County as a criminal defense lawyer. He was a somewhat larger-than-life personality who created memories with everyone with whom he came in contact.
Speaking as a one-time law partner with Chris and now in my current role as Indiana’s Attorney General, I find that his professional life represents an important element in our system of justice. Often overlooked and underappreciated, the right to counsel guaranteed in the Sixth Amendment to the United State Constitution is essential in balancing the scales of justice. We cannot have a fair system without those who represent criminal defendants.
The life of a criminal defense attorney is hard, and one that cost Chris dearly in terms of his health. As someone who was attracted to the practice of law by the character Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Chris never backed down from defending the accused. There were those who feared his zealous and often creative approach and some who thought he pressed down too hard on his side of the scales at times, but that is as it should be.
The important lesson I learned from Chris Zoeller is one I reflect upon in my current role: While fighting on behalf of the State of Indiana to convict the accused and affirm the conviction, we must always strive to seek justice. And justice is best served with a strong advocate that challenges the State to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
And with his life’s work done to the best of his skill and ability, the defense can finally rest, and rest in peace.
— Greg Zoeller, Indiana Attorney General, Southern Indiana native
Reader questions costs of Camm case
On April 18, I made the two-hour drive to Rockport to attend a hearing for David Camm.
Camm is currently housed in the Vanderburg County Detention Center, so he was brought to Spencer County to attend the hearing. Present at the hearing was two attorneys for Camm and three for the prosecution. Also present were Floyd County Sheriff Darrell Mills and Capt. Jeff Topping, Judge Jon Dartt a court reporter, and several other armed officers.
All of this came at the Floyd County taxpayers’ expense. Camm’s attorney Stacy Uliana addressed the fact that although the Supreme Court had removed Keith Henderson from the case, the new “special” prosecutor had been working with him and planned to continue working with him on this case. (Floyd County is also paying Henderson’s legal fees for ethics violations related to this. The judge took the claims under advisement and will rule in three months as to whether this should be allowed to continue, which will again result in money being funneled out of Floyd County.
If people were to ever look at all of the facts in this case, they could plainly see that Camm is not, was not and never will be guilty of these crimes.
After learning about the close relationship between Charles Boney, his family and Stan Faith, I cannot help but wonder what role that plays in all of this.
— Kathy J. Lowe, Elizabeth
Former state senator backs Winningham
I am writing to inform you that I have formally endorsed Robert Winningham for the Democratic nomination as our next 9th District congressman.
A staff assistant to former Congressman Lee Hamilton, Robert worked closely with me on projects in my State Senate district before becoming a successful economic development director. In fact, Robert is the only candidate running for Congress with a proven track record of helping to create jobs and his experiences in developing projects and building the foundations of a productive economy are exactly why he needs to be our representative.
When Robert was a member of Lee’s staff, I had the opportunity to work with him on difficult projects such as the Charlestown State Park and the creation of the River Ridge Commerce Center, which many readers know created a 6,000-acre industrial park from the closure of the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant. In other parts of the 9th District, he worked on the Ohio River Greenway and the Crawford County Industrial Park. Robert’s role and hard work was essential for these projects to develop and laid the ground work for them to flourish in more recent years. As our state faces difficult financial times, we need a leader that can work through similar tough problems.
As a retired small businessman and legislator, I appreciate the effort that it takes to improve the economy. I believe that Robert has proven throughout his career of service that he will not only put in the effort, but succeed at developing our district and helping middle class families. He will protect Social Security and preserve Medicare for future generations and I am confident that Robert can work hand in hand with both parties to reach a common goal for the betterment of our community.
I fully support Robert, and I am certain that he can help us reach our full potential both economically and as a community. I urge you to support him in the Democratic primary May 8.
— Jim Lewis, Charlestown, former state senator, District 45