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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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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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