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Evidence supports animal fighting convictions

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A Shelby County man who claimed his devotion to his religious beliefs required him to breed, raise and fight gamefowl had his convictions relating to animal fighting upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday.

In Edward W. Clemons v. State of Indiana, 73A01-1207-CR-327, Edward Clemons was charged with Class D felonies possession of an animal for purposes of an animal fighting contest and promoting an animal fighting contest, and Class B misdemeanor possession of animal fighting paraphernalia. The charges stem from an investigation initiated by John Goodwin, director of animal cruelty policy at the Humane Society of the United States, who read an article in a cockfighting trade journal about Clemons.

Police found numerous roosters on Clemons’ property that were dubbed – meaning their fleshy protuberances on the throat and head were missing and had shortened or removed spurs on their legs. Animals are dubbed to be used in cockfighting. Police also found a long knife used in Filipino cockfighting as an attachment to the rooster’s leg, instruction manuals on training battle cocks and medicines for the animals.

Clemons argued that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support his convictions, which resulted in an aggregate sentence of 15 months of probation. But the appellate judges found the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Clemons knowingly or intentionally purchased or possessed an animal for the purpose of an animal fighting contest and possessed the animal fighting paraphernalia – the knife – with the intent to commit an animal fighting contest violation.

There was also sufficient evidence for the jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Clemons promoted an animal fighting contest.

“In sum, Clemons has invited us to reweigh the evidence but we decline to do so,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote.


 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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