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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. 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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