Lost? Tired of the Kentucky Democratic Party for quietly permitting homophobia to take root? Wondering when it’ll suss out all the corruption?
Don’t hold your breath for too long. And don’t put any faith into Republican Minority Leader Jeff Hoover, himself a transphobic, gay-panicked extremist, being a stellar Speaker of the House.
Here he was on February 13, 2016 sharing some home truths about bigot Donald Trump:
Then, ahem, pivoting on August 4, 2016 to praise Trump as a candidate helping Republicans win in Kentucky – hit the 4:00 mark:
Seems cowardly and hypocritical, doesn’t it? Because the new breed of Kentucky Republican is just that – cowardly and hypocritical. And extra-racist, gay-panicked, backward, afraid. Just what Kentucky needs! A mediocre white guy freaking out and flip-flopping every other day.
But it gets better.
The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled just under a year ago that Hoover was ineffective as counsel (in lay terms? inept) in a murder case.
Check it out:
CLICK TO ENLARGE — PDF
Excerpts, presented without comment:
Copley argues that his counsel was ineffective by failing to fully advise him regarding a defense of extreme emotional disturbance (EED). Kentucky Revised Statute[s] (KRS) 507.020(1)(a) provides that “a person shall not be guilty [of murder] if he acted under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance for which there was a reasonable explanation or excuse. . . .” It also provides that a person found to be acting under EED may be prosecuted for manslaughter.
There is a considerable difference in the penalties for murder and manslaughter.
At the evidentiary hearing, trial counsel testified that he had considered the possibility of an EED defense. But he said that he did not think it was viable because of a letter1 that the Commonwealth would introduce. Counsel also relied heavily on Dr. Smith’s reluctance to testify regarding whether Copley had acted under EED. He also said that he had had “general discussions” with Copley regarding EED. Counsel did not remember Copley’s attempting suicide after he shot Pamela. He asserted that Copley asked him to negotiate a plea bargain in order to avoid subjecting his family to the ordeal of a trial.
Copley testified that counsel did not explain the viability of an EED defense to him. He did not think that he needed to inform counsel about the second suicide attempt because counsel should have known that fact from his medical records.
Finally, he said that he entered the guilty plea because counsel led him to believe that no defenses were available to him.
We are persuaded that Copley received ineffective assistance. As noted above, the existence of EED is a question to be answered by a jury. From his testimony, it appears that counsel assumed the role of the jury.
Trial counsel – and now the Commonwealth – have characterized Dr. Smith’s statement as a refusal to testify resulting from his review of the evidence and his examination of Copley. On the contrary, however, our review of the letter indicated that Dr. Smith believed that Copley was indeed suffering significant psychological disturbance at the time of the shooting. But he felt that he was precluded from delivering his opinion professionally because his examination was too far removed in time from the actual events.
Significantly, the delay between the events and the psychological evaluation was the direct result of counsel’s actions in creating the temporal hiatus by ceasing all activity on the case while he waited for resolution of an interlocutory appeal from a motion to suppress evidence. And the appeal itself was unorthodox and meritless.
We are not persuaded that Copley was given adequate information to make a meaningful choice between pleading guilty or going to trial.
In summary, we conclude that Copley’s counsel provided ineffective representation by causing a delay in proceedings, which in turn allowed evidence to become stale; pre-empting the role of the jury by abandoning a defense merely because of contradictory evidence; and failing to provide Copley with adequate information to support a meaningful choice regarding the consequences of presenting an EED defense.
Hoover was his attorney (Warning: External PDF Link):
That’s the kind of guy Republicans have put in charge of their State House efforts.