ILNews

Exclusion of money talk not a reversible error

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A trial court’s error in excluding explicit statements about money is not reversible and does not provide the grounds to overturn a drug conviction.

Marion Turner appealed his conviction for dealing in cocaine, as a Class A felony, arguing he was entrapped by a confidential informant working for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

When Turner testified at trial, he attempted to repeat statements allegedly made by the C.I., but the state objected on hearsay grounds. Turner countered that since the C.I. was acting as an agent of the state, his statements were admissible as statements of a party-opponent, an exception to the hearsay rule addressed by Indiana Evidence Rule 801(d)(2).

The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with Turner. It found the C.I. was acting on behalf of the state and that his statements could properly be considered non-hearsay pursuant to Evidence Rule 801.

The Court of Appeals then considered the consequences of the trial court’s error in sustaining the state’s hearsay objection.

Once the trial court ruled in favor of the state, Turner made an offer of proof that included the C.I. contacting him multiple times wanting cocaine. Turner initially refused but then the informant offered more money.

In Marion Turner v. State of Indiana, 49A05-1302-CR-59, the COA ruled that although the jury was not specifically advised that the C.I. had offered to increase the purchase price, they did hear Turner’s testimony that “the intensity was basically up the ante.”

From this, the COA found, the jury could have “reasonably interpreted” that the C.I. was offering more cash. In addition, Turner had stated his finances were deteriorating and there was no indication that the C.I. ever offered anything of a non-monetary nature to induce the transaction.

The Court of Appeals concluded that the exclusion of the C.I.’s specific statement offering more money was, at most, a harmless error.
 

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  1. All the lawyers involved in this don't add up to a hill of beans; mostly yes-men punching their tickets for future advancement. REMF types. Window dressing. Who in this mess was a real hero? the whistleblower that let the public know about the torture, whom the US sent to Jail. John Kyriakou. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/us/ex-officer-for-cia-is-sentenced-in-leak-case.html?_r=0 Now, considering that Torture is Illegal, considering that during Vietnam a soldier was court-martialed and imprisoned for waterboarding, why has the whistleblower gone to jail but none of the torturers have been held to account? It's amazing that Uncle Sam's sunk lower than Vietnam. But that's where we're at. An even more unjust and pointless war conducted in an even more bogus manner. this from npr: "On Jan. 21, 1968, The Washington Post ran a front-page photo of a U.S. soldier supervising the waterboarding of a captured North Vietnamese soldier. The caption said the technique induced "a flooding sense of suffocation and drowning, meant to make him talk." The picture led to an Army investigation and, two months later, the court martial of the soldier." Today, the US itself has become lawless.

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