Stalking interpretations

July 15, 2008
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Is standing on a public street, staring at someone’s house considered taboo and possibly enough for a felony stalking charge? Does the answer change if it happens more than once, say four times, and that the person being watched feels fearful or panicked even though no physical contact, phone calls, or interaction has actually happened?



The Court of Appeals says no. A first impression ruling today tosses out a felony stalking conviction for a Terre Haute man who was accused, tried, and convicted by a jury, of parking on a city street four times and watching the house of a man he’d met casually as a customer at a radio services business. At issue was the man’s conduct and the interplay between it being “harassment” or “impermissible” because he had no notice – say a protective order against him – that it was causing a problem,. The court debated the line between a person’s constitutional right to park on a public street and someone’s feeling of security as it relates to harassment; Judges Terry Crone and Michael Barnes leaned toward safeguarding the accused’s due process rights, while Judge Cale Bradford dissented, opting to leave it up to a jury to discern the difference between “stalking” and lawful activity.



Where does that line exist, and what’s the impact of this new ruling?



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  1. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  2. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  3. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  4. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  5. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

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