Amy Karozos Named State Public Defender

(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana Supreme Court has named Amy E. Karozos as the State Public Defender. Ms. Karozos is currently a Marion County Public Defender in the juvenile division.

She previously served as a Project Director for the Indiana Public Defender Council and is a graduate of Indiana University McKinney School of Law.

Amy Karozos named State Public Defender

“I am honored and look forward to working with the talented and hard-working attorneys and support staff in the State Public Defender’s Office to serve our clients,” Karozos said.

Stephen T. Owens, Public Defender of Indiana, is retiring after a distinguished career advocating for strong public defense. Supreme Court Staff Photo By Josh Hicks

Karozos will begin in her new role after Stephen Owens retires at the end of 2019. In August 2019, Owens announced he would retire at the end of the year. He has served as the State Public Defender since 2011 and prior to that in the Public Defender’s Office since 1986.

Upon Owens’ announcement, the Office of Judicial Administration began accepting applications to fill the position. Applications were accepted until October 16.

Qualified candidates were interviewed by Victoria Cassanova, Federal Habeas Community Defender; Mike Moore, Indiana Public Defender Council; Stacy Uliana, private criminal defense attorney; Professor Fran Watson, IU-McKinney; Steve Creason, Office of the Attorney General; Mark Rutherford, Indiana Public Defender Commission; Jim Oliver, Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council; Judge Peter Nugent, Johnson Superior 2; and Justin Forkner, Office of Judicial Administration.

Finalists for the position were interviewed by the members of the Indiana Supreme Court. The five justices selected Karozos to fill the four-year term.

The State Public Defender is a state-funded Judicial Branch agency that provides representation to indigent incarcerated individuals (including certain juveniles) in post-conviction relief cases to assure the fundamental fairness of the criminal justice system. It provides services in all capital cases. The Office receives about 500 requests from inmates each year asking for their case to be reviewed.