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COA: No fundamental error in admitting testimony

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The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s two convictions of sexual misconduct with a minor after finding that there was no fundamental error in the admittance of certain testimony at his trial.

In Jeremiah D. Wilkes v. State of Indiana, 32A01-1303-CR-120, Jeremiah Wilkes appealed his conviction of two Class B felonies stemming from an incident in which he performed oral sex on a 14-year-old boy and had the teen touch Wilkes’ penis. Wilkes argued that testimony from several people about what victim W.V. told people should not have been admitted at his trial.

Because he didn’t object during the trial, the Court of Appeals evaluated its admission to see if it amounted to a fundamental error. It did not, the judges held, because W.V. testified first and the hearsay testimony was merely cumulative of what he said.

The judges did find that some statements by Detective Terry Judy amounted to indirect vouching that is not allowed under Hoglund v. State, 962 N.E.2d 1230, 1237 (Ind. 2012). But in light of all the other testimony, Judy’s statements were harmless error, Judge Melissa May wrote.

The appeals court disagreed that these errors, taken together, cumulatively, constituted a fundamental error. Wilkes had argued that W.V. incorrectly said Wilkes was uncircumcised. But a picture drawn by W.V. and his explanation cleared up why he believed Wilkes was uncircumcised, the court held.
 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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