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High court transfers jury-instruction case

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Thursday to a case in which a man's attempted murder conviction was ordered to be vacated as a result of his attorney's deficient performance on appeal.

At issue in Che B. Carter v. State of Indiana, No. 49A04-0807-PC-444, was whether Che Carter's appellate attorney was ineffective for failing to raise an argument on appeal that the jury was erroneously instructed on the elements of attempted murder. Just a month after Carter was convicted, the Indiana Supreme Court handed down Spradlin v. State, 569 N.E.2d 948 (Ind. 1991), in which it reversed Spradlin's attempted murder conviction because an instruction didn't instruct the jury that the state was required to prove the defendant intended to kill the victim. Shortly there after, the Supreme Court handed down decisions involving cases with a similar issue. As a result of the various rulings, the state of law on the issue of attempted murder jury instructions was marked by confusion and uncertainty.

Chief Judge John Baker and Judge Paul Mathias concluded Carter was prejudiced by his attorney's error and remanded for his conviction to be vacated.

Judge Elaine Brown dissented, writing that although the instruction was erroneous and Carter's appellate counsel was deficient for failing to raise the issue on direct appeal, Carter failed to demonstrate prejudice. She would affirm the post-conviction court's denial of his petition for relief.

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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