INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A former newspaper reporter and top
legal adviser to Gov. Mitch Daniels has been named to the Indiana Supreme
Mark Massa, 50, was introduced Friday by Daniels, who
filled a vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Justice Randall T.
The court's newest justice serves as executive director of
the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. He was Daniels' chief counsel from
2006 to 2010, when he resigned for an unsuccessful run for Marion County
prosecutor. He also worked as an assistant U.S. attorney and as a deputy
prosecutor in Marion County.
He clerked for Shepard and worked as an aide to then-Gov.
Robert Orr in the late 1980s. He also had worked as a newspaper reporter
"He has seen the law from private and public sides. He is
one of the finest prosecutors ever to come to the bench in this state,"
Daniels said of Massa.
Massa called his appointment "a sobering responsibility and
"It is really beyond words," he said.
Massa was one of three finalists for the vacancy. The
others were Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Cale Bradford and Indianapolis
attorney Jane Seigel.
Massa is the second justice Daniels has appointed since
taking office in 2004. He named Steven David, a decorated Army officer who
once served as chief defense counsel for Guantanamo Bay detainees, to the
bench in 2010 following the retirement of Justice Theodore Boehm.
Indiana has not had a female Supreme Court justice since
Myra Selby stepped down in 1999 after five years on the bench.
Shepard's retirement was effective Friday after 27 years on
the court. Though Massa fills the vacancy, a judicial commission will
select the new chief justice from among the Supreme Court's five justices.