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Ex-IMPD officer claims juror misconduct, denied due process

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The former Indianapolis police officer convicted of killing one motorcyclist and injuring two others when he hit them while driving his patrol car in 2010 argues in his brief filed Wednesday that he is entitled to a new trial. David Bisard’s public defender raises three claims, including Bisard was denied his right to an impartial jury based on Internet research conducted by a juror.

Bisard was found guilty of seven counts, including Class B felony operating a motor vehicle with a BAC 0.15 or higher causing death, based on the crash that killed Eric Wells and injured Mary Mills and Kurt Weekly. The trial was moved to Allen County based on pre-trial publicity, and Allen Superior Judge John Surbeck sentenced Bisard to 16 years with three suspended. He filed his appeal in December 2013.

His attorney Victoria Bailey argues that Surbeck denied Bisard of his constitutional right to an impartial jury by failing to order a mistrial after learning that a juror had researched online information on blood alcohol testing and told the other jurors what he found. That juror was removed from the jury and the trial continued with the remaining jurors.

Bisard’s attorney also claims he was denied the due process right to present a defense to the state’s implication that he was a “tolerant drinker.” The state argued – and the trial court agreed – that Bisard could not present his evidence that he was not a tolerant drinker as of Aug. 6, 2010 – the date of the crash – without opening the door for the state to present evidence of Bisard’s 2013 arrest for drunken driving.

While on bail awaiting trial on the 2010 incident, Bisard was arrested in Indianapolis and charged with misdemeanor OWI and operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.15 grams or greater. A blood draw after the accident revealed a BAC of 0.22. He pleaded guilty to Count 1 in February.

The brief also claims the trial court abused its discretion when it aggravated Bisard’s sentence upon a finding that he abused a position of trust.

Bisard is seeking a new trial, or if that motion is denied, then to reduce his sentence, claiming the mitigating factors – including his service as a Marine and police officer – outweigh the aggravating factors.
 

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  1. Oh, the name calling was not name calling, it was merely social commentary making this point, which is on the minds of many, as an aside to the article's focus: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100111082327AAmlmMa Or, if you prefer a local angle, I give you exhibit A in that analysis of viva la difference: http://fox59.com/2015/03/16/moed-appears-on-house-floor-says-hes-not-resigning/

  2. Too many attorneys take their position as a license to intimidate and threaten non attorneys in person and by mail. Did find it ironic that a reader moved to comment twice on this article could not complete a paragraph without resorting to insulting name calling (rethuglican) as a substitute for reasoned discussion. Some people will never get the point this action should have made.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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