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High court upholds stalking conviction

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It’s up to a trier of fact to determine if someone’s conduct involved repeated or continuing harassment to qualify as stalking, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled, since there is no statutorily determinate timeframe required for this type of conviction.

The majority affirmed Rodney Nicholson’s stalking conviction relating to a woman and her daughters. Nicholson repeatedly called the woman’s house in 2006 over a six-month period, breathing heavily and discussing masturbation. He would hang up if the woman’s husband got on the phone. Nicholson was convicted of voyeurism after he was found outside the victims’ home and arrested. For the time he was incarcerated, the calls stopped. He made another call on Nov. 1, 2008.

Nicholson appealed his stalking conviction, which a split Court of Appeals reversed, citing the time between the harassing phone calls. Justice Frank Sullivan agreed with the COA’s decision, but the rest of the justices upheld Nicholson’s conviction.

Justice Steven David noted that Indiana statute doesn’t define the timeframe for a stalking conviction, and it could happen over a matter of minutes or years. The trier of fact should determine if the course of conduct involves repeated or continuing harassment, he wrote.

In addition to meeting the time prong of the stalking statute, the state proved that the victim felt terrorized, frightened, intimidated or threatened.

“Had Nicholson not been incarcerated between 2006 and 2008, our analysis may have been different. However, it appears the main reason the stalking of the victims took a break was Nicholson’s incarceration. Because of this, we hold Nicholson engaged in a knowing course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of the wife,” David wrote in Rodney Nicholson v. State of Indiana, No. 55S01-1107-CR-444.

 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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