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Confidential informant testimony did not hinder defense

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A man who was arrested after a confidential informant arranged drug buys was not hindered by the fact that the informant testified at trial anonymously, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

In Tyronne Dickerson v. State of Indiana, No. 45A04-1104-CR-160, Tyronne Dickerson appealed his convictions of three counts of Class A felony dealing in narcotics.

The case involves two controlled drug buys on Jan. 25 and 28, 2010. In each instance, Dickerson delivered heroin to the same confidential informant – a friend whom Dickerson had known since 2008. Audio and video recordings were made of each transaction, and police maintained visual surveillance of the first. During the second transaction, Dickerson removed the drugs from a cigarette box located within the console of the vehicle he drove to the scene.

In his appeal, Dickerson claimed the court erred by allowing the informant to testify anonymously. The COA rejected that claim, holding that Dickerson acknowledges that he did not object to the limitations placed upon his cross-examination of the confidential informant at trial. The appeals court held that Dickerson, by way of appeal, attempted to circumvent waiver by alleging fundamental error. But the court wrote that Dickerson would need to prove that testimony by the confidential informant seriously and substantially tainted the entire trial. Dickerson did not prove that claim, and the COA affirmed the trial court.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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