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COA orders new trial in resisting law enforcement case

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A Marion County judge violated a defendant’s right to due process when it allowed the charge of resisting law enforcement to go to trial even though the defendant showed purposeful discrimination by the prosecution during voir dire, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

In Michael Collier v. State of Indiana, No. 49A04-1105-CR-229, the Court of Appeals reversed Michael Collier’s conviction of Class D felony resisting law enforcement and ordered a new trial. During voir dire, the prosecution exercised peremptory challenges to three of the four African-American members of the jury panel. Marion Superior Senior Judge Charles Wiles found that Collier had “made his case” and established purposeful discrimination on the part of the state, but then denied his Batson challenge and motion for mistrial and allowed the case to proceed.

The appellate court found Kribs v. State, 917 N.E.2d 1249 (Ind. Ct. App. 2009), instructive. In that case, the trial court also made contradictory findings in convicting a defendant of entering a controlled area of an airport with a weapon or explosive as a Class A misdemeanor.

“Like the contradictory findings in Kribs, we must conclude that the trial court erred in permitting this matter to go to trial in light of its initial determination that Collier had met the challenge under Batson. Although Batson does not specify the remedy when there has been a showing of purposeful discrimination during voir dire, the trial court’s decision to allow the matter to proceed to trial certainly violated Collier’s right to due process as well as the jurors’ right to serve on the panel,” wrote Judge John Baker.



 

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  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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