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'Inextricably intertwined' exception appropriate under state constitution

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The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that under Article 1, Section 13 of the Indiana Constitution, the right to counsel is violated only where a different offense is inextricably intertwined with the charge on which counsel is already representing the defendant.

The issue of whether police violate a defendant’s right to counsel if they approach him about an offense different than the one in which he is already being represented by a lawyer came before the high court in Christopher Jewell v. State of Indiana, No. 32S04-1104-CR-200. Christopher Jewell was originally arrested and charged with misdemeanor tattooing a minor for bringing his former stepdaughter to get a tattoo. Jewell retained an attorney to defend the charge. While the charge was pending, the stepdaughter said that she and Jewell had a sexual relationship for three years when she was a minor, while her mother and Jewell were still married. The stepdaughter, with the help of police, made recorded phone calls with Jewell that led to potentially incriminating statements about the sexual misconduct. He was then charged with three counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, one count of child molesting, and two counts of child seduction.

He moved to suppress the incriminating statements, claiming they were obtained in violation of his right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment and Article 1, Section 13 of the Indiana Constitution. The evidence was admitted, and he was found guilty on all six counts and sentenced to 40 years.

The Supreme Court affirmed his convictions and sentence after analyzing the “inextricably intertwined” exception under the Sixth Amendment and Indiana Constitution. After finding that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected this exception to the offense-specific nature of the Sixth Amendment in favor of a framework based on the Blockberger test for double jeopardy, the justices then looked to see whether it applies under the state constitution.

“In light of our traditional view that Article 1, Section 13 provides broader protection than the Sixth Amendment, we believe the ‘inextricably intertwined’ exception is appropriate under our Constitution. It properly reflects the balance we seek to maintain between society’s legitimate law enforcement needs and a defendant’s right to counsel,” wrote Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard.

The high court applied the test to Jewell’s case and found that the sexual misconduct was not – based on the facts and circumstances known to the detective at the time the stepdaughter called Jewell – closely related to the offense of tattooing a minor as to be inextricably intertwined.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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