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Arguments for woman who claims she was wrongfully convicted

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The case of a woman who contends she was wrongfully convicted of arson and murder because of faulty science will be heard by the Indiana Court of Appeals July 13.

Kristine Bunch appeals the denial of her petition for post-conviction relief, claiming advances in science invalidate the basis for concluding the fire in her mobile home, which killed her 3-year-old son, resulted from arson. She was convicted of arson and murder in 1996; she filed her petition for post-conviction relief in 2006, which the court denied in 2010 after an evidentiary hearing.

Bunch also argues that the state improperly failed to disclose exculpatory and impeachment evidence, and that her trial attorney rendered ineffective assistance of counsel by not adequately challenging the state’s expert testimony and eliciting otherwise inadmissible opinion evidence suggesting guilt.

Indiana Lawyer interviewed  Bunch in 2009 as part of the “Justice in Question” series exploring issues around wrongful convictions.

Arguments begin at 11 a.m. in Bunch v. State of Indiana, No. 16A05-1007-PC-439 and will be webcast.  

The Court of Appeals will also hear Lawane Chaney v. Clarian Health Partners Inc., No. 49A05-0905-CV-263, at 1:30 p.m. The arguments will focus on Clarian Health Partners' motion for appellate fees and costs under Indiana Appellate Rule 66(E).

In February 2010, the COA ruled in favor of Clarian in this purported class-action suit. By the time of the appeal, Lawane Chaney, the only purported class member, was no longer a party, but his former counsel, Ron Weldy, proceeded with the case allegedly on behalf of Chaney.

The trial court had dismissed the case with prejudice for lack of a class representative but had also denied Clarian's request for attorney fees. The trial court also imposed sanctions against Weldy, which Weldy appealed. The COA affirmed the imposition of Trial Rule 37 sanctions against Weldy. The COA denied Weldy's petition for rehearing, and the Indiana Supreme Court denied his petition for transfer.

Arguments in Chaney will also be webcast.

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  1. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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