ILNews

Admission of the videotaped confession constitutes fundamental error

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The true finding that a juvenile committed an act that would constitute the offense of attempted burglary, a class B felony, was reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds the trial court made a fundamental error in admitting into evidence the juvenile’s videotaped confession.

However, in R.W. v. State of Indiana, No.49A02-1112-JV-1187, the COA remanded with instructions for the trial court to enter a true finding of criminal mischief.  

R.W., the juvenile, was caught by a homeowner after he broke a window and tried to reach through the shattered glass to lift the window. The homeowner knew R.W. and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department found the juvenile, took him to a roll call location for an interview, and contacted his mother.

The juvenile and his mother were given a waiver-of-rights form which they signed incorrectly. In the ensuing recorded interview, R.W. admitted that he attempted to break into the house in order to steal Xbox games.

The state filed a delinquency petition in conjunction with this incident alleging that R.W. had committed acts that would constitute the offenses of burglary as a class B felony and criminal mischief as a class B misdemeanor if committed by an adult.

When the state sought to introduce R.W’s videotaped confession, the juvenile objected on the grounds that neither he nor his mother was asked as to each individual right if they understood the consequences of giving those up.

On appeal, R.W. claimed the confession was inadmissible because the waiver form does not indicate that his mother waived R.W.’s rights. He acknowledged he objected to the introduction of the confession on different grounds for the appeal than he did at trial, but he argued the admission constituted a fundamental error.

The Court of Appeals agreed, finding the only evidence supporting the true finding of attempted burglary is the videotaped confession. The court concluded the trial court committed fundamental error in admitting R.W.’s videotaped confession and the true finding must be reversed.

However, the court did find sufficient evidence exists to establish the remaining elements of burglary which also constitute every element of the offense of criminal mischief.

 

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  • Constitution
    What a joke, where was the evidence without a video? The courts seem to think that they can violate a persons constitutional rights but still claim they are guilty and still convict without evidence! WAKE UP AMERICA All it takes for tyranny to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. It's time for all Americans to standup and speak up! MUST READ ARTICLES The Infallible Prosecutor: Google it 10,000 innocent people convicted each year Scalia's death row lunacy: Google it Most registered sex offenders are innocent www.wikipedia.org Type censorship in the U.S. in the search box Jury nullification, a fundamental right! Indiana Constitution: Article1 Section 19 In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts. The 9th and 10th amendments to the constitution of the United States means the same thing. An unjust law is not a law at all and any person charged with violating an unjust law has not violated any law and should not be found guilty simply because the law is unjust! IF YOU DON'T KNOW YOUR RIGHTS YOU DON'T HAVE ANY WE MUST PROTECT OUR CONSTITUTIONS

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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