TV show provides glimpse into case

April 12, 2011
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Normally, when I read Indiana Court of Appeals opinions, I have no knowledge of the background of the case. Sometimes, the court gets a case that has received extensive news coverage, so I recognize a party’s name or I wrote a preview of the case’s oral arguments.

Today, I came across a new reason as to why a case was familiar: I watched the crime investigation unfold on television.

I was a big fan of the show “The Shift” that aired on the Investigation Discovery channel. I’ve always enjoyed “reality” detective/cop shows yet can’t get into shows like CSI or Law and Order. When I learned that the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s homicide division was going to be featured in a TV show because of its solving rate of murders, I tuned in every week it was on.

That’s how I learned about Lamar Crawford’s case before it appeared on the Court of Appeals’ website today.

Crawford appealed his murder conviction, which included a challenge to the production company of the show to turn over footage and interviews relating to the investigation. He lost the challenge.

While watching “The Shift,” I did wonder how it would affect the trials of the accused. I vaguely remember a news article in which someone arrested and shown on the show challenged the footage because he wouldn’t get a fair trial. It’s a valid concern. I’m not sure how many people watched the show, as it was on a channel that you would have to have a pretty extensive cable/satellite package to get. I haven’t seen it on the schedule in months, although information about the show is still up on the ID channel’s website.  

As an attorney or judge, what do you think about reality shows that identify people accused of crimes? Are they a good way to inform the general public about the work police do or another thing that can cause problems in obtaining a fair trial?



 

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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