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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. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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