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Indiana Supreme Court rejects murderer's appeal over juror

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A woman sentenced to 55 years in prison for her role in a 2010 murder lost an appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Tina Whiting appealed the seating of a juror in her murder case because the trial judge denied a joint challenge for cause. The juror knew Whiting and several other people involved in the trial in Jay Circuit Court, and said “No I can not” when asked if she could provide a fair trial. The juror was empanelled and served.

But the justices ruled in Tina Whiting v. State of Indiana, 38S05-1206-CR-345, that the defense had peremptory challenges available to strike the juror and failed to do so, preserving no error for the court to review.

“We hold that Whiting’s juror-bias claim is procedurally defaulted because she failed to exhaust her peremptory challenges. We also hold that a procedural default under the exhaustion rule is not amenable to fundamental-error review. Accordingly, we affirm Whiting’s conviction for felony murder and summarily affirm her sentence,” said the unanimous ruling written by Justice Frank Sullivan.

Whiting and accomplices were convicted in the beating and stabbing death of Shawn Buckner of Portland, Ind. Buckner was found buried in a shallow grave in Delaware County after Whiting and several others lured him to an apartment and then began beating him in an attempt to steal his prescription medication.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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