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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  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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