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'Inextricably intertwined' exception appropriate under state constitution

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The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that under Article 1, Section 13 of the Indiana Constitution, the right to counsel is violated only where a different offense is inextricably intertwined with the charge on which counsel is already representing the defendant.

The issue of whether police violate a defendant’s right to counsel if they approach him about an offense different than the one in which he is already being represented by a lawyer came before the high court in Christopher Jewell v. State of Indiana, No. 32S04-1104-CR-200. Christopher Jewell was originally arrested and charged with misdemeanor tattooing a minor for bringing his former stepdaughter to get a tattoo. Jewell retained an attorney to defend the charge. While the charge was pending, the stepdaughter said that she and Jewell had a sexual relationship for three years when she was a minor, while her mother and Jewell were still married. The stepdaughter, with the help of police, made recorded phone calls with Jewell that led to potentially incriminating statements about the sexual misconduct. He was then charged with three counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, one count of child molesting, and two counts of child seduction.

He moved to suppress the incriminating statements, claiming they were obtained in violation of his right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment and Article 1, Section 13 of the Indiana Constitution. The evidence was admitted, and he was found guilty on all six counts and sentenced to 40 years.

The Supreme Court affirmed his convictions and sentence after analyzing the “inextricably intertwined” exception under the Sixth Amendment and Indiana Constitution. After finding that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected this exception to the offense-specific nature of the Sixth Amendment in favor of a framework based on the Blockberger test for double jeopardy, the justices then looked to see whether it applies under the state constitution.

“In light of our traditional view that Article 1, Section 13 provides broader protection than the Sixth Amendment, we believe the ‘inextricably intertwined’ exception is appropriate under our Constitution. It properly reflects the balance we seek to maintain between society’s legitimate law enforcement needs and a defendant’s right to counsel,” wrote Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard.

The high court applied the test to Jewell’s case and found that the sexual misconduct was not – based on the facts and circumstances known to the detective at the time the stepdaughter called Jewell – closely related to the offense of tattooing a minor as to be inextricably intertwined.
 

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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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