Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-15-595168-A
Application for Reopening Motion No. 503850
APPELLANT Leonard J. Young, pro se
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor, Andrew F. Rogalski Assistant County
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
KATHLEEN ANN KEOUGH, ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE
Leonard J. Young has filed a timely application for reopening
pursuant to App.R. 26(B). Young is attempting to reopen the
appellate judgment, rendered in State v. Young, 8th
Dist. Cuyahoga No. 103551, 2016-Ohio-7477, that affirmed his
conviction for one count of rape and one count of kidnapping.
We decline to reopen Young's original appeal.
In order to establish a claim of ineffective assistance of
appellate counsel, Young is required to establish that the
performance of his appellate counsel was deficient and the
deficiency resulted in prejudice. Strickland v.
Washington, 466 U.S. 688, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674
(1984); State v. Bradley, 42 Ohio St.3d 136, 538
N.E.2d 373 (1989), cert. denied, 497 U.S. 1011, 110
S.Ct. 3258, 111 L.Ed.2d 767 (1990).
In Strickland, the United States Supreme Court held
that a court's scrutiny of an attorney's work must be
highly deferential. The court further stated that it is all
too tempting for a defendant to second-guess his attorney
after conviction and that it would be too easy for a court to
conclude that a specific act or omission was deficient,
especially when examining the matter in hindsight. Thus, a
court must indulge a strong presumption that counsel's
conduct falls within the wide range of reasonable
professional assistance; that is, the defendant must overcome
the presumption that, under the circumstances, the challenged
action might be considered sound trial strategy.
Herein, Young has raised two proposed assignments of error in
support of his application for reopening. Young's initial
proposed assignment of error is that:
Trial court erred when it denied appellant[']s request to
terminate counsel violating the appellant's rights to
adequate counsel under the sixth amendment of the United
Young, through his first proposed assignment of error, argues
that the trial court erred by failing to terminate appointed
counsel and appoint new counsel. When an indigent defendant
makes a request for the termination of his appointed counsel
and the appointment of new counsel, based upon effectiveness
and adequacy of appointed counsel, the trial court is
required to inquire into the defendant's allegation and
make the inquiry part of the record. State v. Deal,
17 Ohio St.2d 17, 244 N.E.2d 742 (1969); State v.
King, 104 Ohio App.3d 434, 662 N.E.2d 389 (4th Dist.
Herein, Young requested that the trial court discharge his
appointed counsel and appoint new counsel, based upon the
allegation that appointed counsel was inadequate,
ineffective, and failed to honor Young's requests. The
trial court inquired into Young's complaint on the
record. See tr. 75. At the conclusion of the trial
court's inquiry, Young clearly abandoned his request for
discharge of appointed counsel. It must also be noted that
even if Young had not abandoned his request for discharge of
appointed counsel, we find that Young failed to demonstrate
"a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship of such
magnitude as to jeopardize a defendant's right to
effective assistance of counsel." State v.
Coleman, 37 Ohio St.3d 286, 292, 525 N.E.2d 792 (1988),
quoting People v. Robles, 2 Cal.3d 205, 215, 85
Cal.Rptr. 166, 466 P.2d 710 (1970). It must also be noted
that a defendant's right to counsel does not extend to
counsel of the defendant's choice. Thurston v.
Maxwell, 3 Ohio St.2d 92, 209 N.E.2d 204 (1965). Young
has failed to establish that he was prejudiced by the failure
of appellate counsel to argue the issue of trial court erred
by not discharging appointed counsel.
Young's second proposed assignment of error in support of
his application for reopening is that:
Prosecutorial misconduct violating the appellant's rights
under the fourteenth and fifth amendment of the United ...