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Justices address Batson challenges in 2 appeals

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The Indiana Supreme Court ruled on two cases Wednesday that stemmed from Batson challenges, and in doing so, articulated the standard of review of such challenges when a defendant raises a Batson challenge at the trial level, but then brings up a different argument on appeal.

In Joey Addison v. State of Indiana, No. 49S05-1105-CR-267, Joey Addison appealed the removal of one of the only three African-American venirepersons at his trial for murder. Addison – an African-American - intended to use the insanity defense. During voir dire, the court removed venireperson Turner – an African-American – because the state argued Turner said he would only rely on the doctors’ testimony regarding Addison’s sanity when deciding the case. Addison did not object to the removal of the other two African-Americans from the jury panel because the state gave race-neutral reasons for their removal.

The justices had a novel issue to address on appeal – how should an appellate court treat a defendant’s appellate claim when the defendant offered no substantive argument to the trial court as to why the state’s proffered reason for striking a black panelist is pretextual? Addison had made a Batson challenge regarding Turner, but he did not argue to the trial court that other nonblack jurors offered similar testimony as Turner but were not removed. He made that argument for the first time on appeal.

Turning to other jurisdictions for guidance, the justices decided that such claims could be addressed on appeal under Indiana’s fundamental error doctrine. Using that doctrine, the Supreme Court found that the state mischaracterized Turner’s statements that he would only rely on what the doctors said regarding Addison’s sanity, and that several other jurors made similar statements to Turner.

“This mischaracterization of Turner’s voir dire testimony is troubling and undermines the State’s proffered race-neutral reason for the strike,” Justice Robert Rucker wrote. The justices were left with the firm impression that the state’s proffered explanation for striking Turner was a mere pretext based on race, making a fair trial impossible. They ordered Addison be retried.

The justices also ruled on a Batson challenge in Jerrme Cartwright v. State of Indiana, No. 82S01-1109-CR-564, in which Jerrme Cartwright – an African-American who was on trial for attempted battery and unlawful possession of a firearm – argued that the state failed to meet its burden to show that its strike of venireperson Bard was not motivated by discriminatory purpose. Bard was the only African-American venireperson. The state struck Bard because he said at voir dire examination that he didn’t want to serve on the jury, that he took a diuretic that caused him to frequently use the restroom, and that he’s not a good listener. He also answered yes to the question of whether he or an immediate family member had been charged with or convicted of a crime.

The justices found the prosecutor didn’t run afoul of Batson for striking Bard based on these statements, and the record showed that nonblack venirepersons with problems like Bard’s were also dismissed from the jury. The Supreme Court affirmed Cartwright’s convictions.


 

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  1. A traditional parade of attorneys? Really Evansville? Y'all need to get out more. When is the traditional parade of notaries? Nurses? Sanitation workers? Pole dancers? I gotta wonder, do throngs of admiring citizens gather to laud these marching servants of the constitution? "Show us your billing records!!!" Hoping some video gets posted. Ours is not a narcissistic profession by any chance, is it? Nah .....

  2. My previous comment not an aside at court. I agree with smith. Good call. Just thought posting here a bit on the if it bleeds it leads side. Most attorneys need to think of last lines of story above.

  3. Hello everyone I'm Gina and I'm here for the exact same thing you are. I have the wonderful joy of waking up every morning to my heart being pulled out and sheer terror of what DCS is going to Throw at me and my family today.Let me start from the !bebeginning.My daughter lost all rights to her 3beautiful children due to Severe mental issues she no longer lives in our state and has cut all ties.DCS led her to belive that once she done signed over her right the babies would be with their family. We have faught screamed begged and anything else we could possibly due I hired a lawyer five grand down the drain.You know all I want is my babies home.I've done everything they have even asked me to do.Now their saying I can't see my grandchildren cause I'M on a prescription for paipain.I have a very rare blood disease it causes cellulitis a form of blood poisoning to stay dormant in my tissues and nervous system it also causes a ,blood clotting disorder.even with the two blood thinners I'm on I still Continue to develop them them also.DCS knows about my illness and still they refuse to let me see my grandchildren. I Love and miss them so much Please can anyone help Us my grandchildren and I they should be worrying about what toy there going to play with but instead there worrying about if there ever coming home again.THANK YOU DCS FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE. ( And if anyone at all has any ideals or knows who can help. Please contact (765)960~5096.only serious callers

  4. He must be a Rethuglican, for if from the other side of the aisle such acts would be merely personal and thus not something that attaches to his professional life. AND ... gotta love this ... oh, and on top of talking dirty on the phone, he also, as an aside, guess we should mention, might be important, not sure, but .... "In addition to these allegations, Keaton was accused of failing to file an appeal after he collected advance payment from a client seeking to challenge a ruling that the client repay benefits because of unreported income." rimshot

  5. I am not a fan of some of the 8.4 discipline we have seen for private conduct-- but this was so egregious and abusive and had so many points of bad conduct relates to the law and the lawyer's status as a lawyer that it is clearly a proper and just disbarment. A truly despicable account of bad acts showing unfit character to practice law. I applaud the outcome.

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