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Court of Appeals points to ‘alarming trend’ in defendant’s appeal

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A defendant who attempted to have his conviction reversed by citing the fundamental error doctrine instead received a sharp rebuke from the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Carlos Hale appealed his conviction of robbery, a Class B felony, in Carlos Hale v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1202-CR-83. He argued the show-up identification was unduly suggestive and maintained the introduction of this evidence was a fundamental error.

A short time after a woman reported she had been robbed at gunpoint by two men outside her apartment, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers stopped a vehicle which contained Hale and three other men. Hale and Martell Stott matched the description provided by the victim.

Less than an hour after police stopped the vehicle, the victim was brought to the scene where she remained in the detective’s vehicle and viewed the four men, identifying Hale and Stott as the individuals who robbed her.

The victim subsequently identified Hale again during the trial without objection and the state presented evidence from the show-up identification. Hale was found guilty and sentenced to seven years.

The COA affirmed the trial court’s conviction. It found the lower court did not err by admitting the evidence of the show-up identification because the victim could clearly see Hale’s face during the robbery and she identified him soon after the incident.    

In addition, the court pointed out the defense counsel neither filed a pretrial motion to suppress the show-up identification nor did the defense counsel object to its admission at trial. An objection is required to preserve an error for review on appeal to give the trial court the opportunity to correct any errors before they become fundamental errors.

Writing for the majority, Judge John Baker highlighted the frequent misuse of the fundamental error doctrine.

“Nevertheless, this Court cannot ignore the alarming trend of questionable fundamental error claims,” Baker wrote. “For instance, it is not uncommon for a criminal defendant to argue on appeal that the introduction of evidence amounted to a fundamental error whenever the defendant failed to object to its admission at trial."




 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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