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Judges affirm drunk-driving conviction

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A Madison Circuit judge did not abuse his discretion in instructing the jury on operating a vehicle while intoxicated as a Class C misdemeanor, a lesser-included offense of drunk-driving charges a man faced, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.

Guydell Watson faced two charges for allegedly driving while under the influence: operating a vehicle with a B.A.C. of at least 0.15 percent as a Class A misdemeanor and operating with a B.A.C. of at least 0.15 percent with a previous conviction for operating while intoxicated as a Class D felony. Watson’s first trial resulted in a hung jury, so the state retried on the same charges.

Over Watson’s objection, the trial court also instructed the jury on operating a vehicle with a B.A.C. of at least 0.08 percent but less than 0.15 percent as a lesser-included offense of operating a vehicle with a B.A.C. of at least 0.15 percent. The jury found Watson guilty of the lesser-included offense, and Watson pleaded guilty to an amended Class D felony charge.

On appeal, Watson challenged the refusal to grant him public funds to hire an expert witness to decipher the results of tests performed on the BAC Datamaster used by the arresting officer. At the trial, an inspector with the Indiana State Department of Toxicology testified about how Datamasters are calibrated.

But Watson failed to show that the proposed unnamed expert could demonstrate that which he desired from the expert and failed to set forth what exactly he wanted the expert to testify about, Senior Judge Carr Darden wrote. It appeared he wanted the expert for only exploratory purposes.

Watson also claimed the trial court improperly granted the state’s motion to instruct on the lesser-included offense. The Court of Appeals found that operating a vehicle with a BAC of at least 0.08 percent but less than 0.15 percent is an inherently lesser-included offense of operating a vehicle with a BAC of at least 0.15 percent, so the trial judge did not abuse his discretion in instructing the jury on the Class C misdemeanor.

 

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  1. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  2. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  3. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  4. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  5. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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