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Justices divided over vacating transfer in case seeking severance of offenses

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Justice Robert Rucker wrote an 11-page dissent from his colleagues after three justices decided to vacate transfer to an appeal stemming from charges involving the alleged sexual assault of four victims.

Quanardel Wells was charged in 2009 in an 11-count information with various offenses arising out of the alleged assault of four victims on four different occasions. He sought interlocutory review of the trial court’s order denying his motion for severance of offenses pursuant to Indiana Code 35-41-1-11. In September 2011, the Court of Appeals upheld the denial of Wells’ motion to sever over his arguments that he is entitled to the severance of the charges in order to promote a fair determination of the merits of his case.

The justices granted transfer on Feb. 2, 2012, but Justices Steven David, Mark Massa and Loretta Rush decided to vacate transfer Feb. 21 after further review.

In his dissent, joined by Chief Justice Brent Dickson, Rucker believed this case provided the justices “the opportunity to provide guidance and clarity on an area of the law in need of both.”

He discussed the interplay between statutory severance and the Indiana Rules of Evidence. Rucker would grant transfer and remand to the trial court for a hearing to determine whether the offenses with respect to each alleged victim are of the same or similar character; whether evidence of each of the offenses is relevant to some material issue at trial of all the other offenses under Indiana Evidence Rule 404(b); and whether the evidence of the other offenses even though relevant should be excluded under Indiana Evidence Rule 403.

If the hearing reveals that evidence of the offenses for which Wells is charged would be inadmissible in separate trials of the same offenses, then he would be entitled to severance as a matter of right under Indiana Code 35-34-1-1. Otherwise Wells would not be so entitled, he wrote.
 

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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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