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Appeals court reverses student's convictions

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a teenager's convictions for battery and disorderly conduct stemming from a face-off with an assistant principal and dean of students in the school cafeteria.

In Christopher Bailey v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0801-CR-65, the court unanimously reversed the two misdemeanor convictions resulting from an incident in November 2007 at Perry Meridian High School in Marion County.

An assistant principal confronted Christopher Bailey while he was in a cafeteria line for breakfast and told him to pull up his pants, but the student refused and started to walk toward another line. The assistant principal put out her arm and directed him to the dean's office, but Bailey bumped into her arm as he walked away. The dean of students confronted Bailey, who then threw down his drink and coat, put his face about 9 inches from the dean, balled his fists, and cursed at the school official. Bailey was charged with battery and disorderly conduct, and was convicted at a bench trial before Marion Superior Judge Rebekah Pierson-Treacy.

In reviewing the case, the appellate court determined the state didn't prove that Bailey conducted battery because it didn't show that his conduct of walking into the assistant principal's outstretched arm constituted "knowing" battery, that Bailey knew he was going to bump into her arm.

The court also relied on caselaw to determine that the disorderly conduct shouldn't stand because it can't be defined as "tumultuous conduct" that would result in serious bodily injury or substantial damage to property. The state urged at trial that Bailey should be convicted because the harm was impending and could likely result in actions from the defendant, but the appellate judges rejected that argument.

"Bailey was close to (the dean's) face and yelling obscenities, but one could not reasonably expect (he), as the Dean of Students, would respond to Bailey's tirade with physical aggression," the court wrote. "Because Bailey's behavior was not 'tumultuous,' we reverse his conviction of disorderly conduct."

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  1. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  2. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  3. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  4. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

  5. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

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