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Justices split in granting transfer

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The Indiana Supreme Court was split in its decision to deny transfer in a case in which a defendant claimed misconduct by the prosecutor when he read a poem about drugs during voir dire.

The justices were split 3-2 in favor of denying transfer in the case Robert R. Gregory v. State of Indiana, No. 15A01-0708-CR-348. Justice Robert Rucker dissented, and Justice Brent Dickson concurred with him, finding certain tactics used by the prosecutor during jury selection were improper and amounted to misconduct.

Robert Gregory was convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. Gregory appealed his convictions on four claims, including whether the prosecutor committed misconduct by reading a poem during voir dire about the dangers of methamphetamine. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Gregory's manufacturing conviction, but ordered his conspiracy conviction to be vacated on double jeopardy grounds. The appellate court ruled the prosecutor didn't commit misconduct by reading the poem.

Justice Rucker wrote that although Gregory did not raise the misconduct issue in his transfer petition, the matter is sufficiently important to warrant the Supreme Court's attention. Justice Rucker agreed with Court of Appeals Judge James Kirsch's dissent that the trial court abused its discretion in allowing the reading.

Referencing Perryman v. State, 830 N.E.2d 1005 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005), in which the court reversed a defendant's drug conviction because of improper voir dire tactics, Justice Rucker wrote, "I see little daylight between the prosecutor's conduct in Perryman and the prosecutor's conduct here. Although I agree that in this case the defendant is not entitled to a new trial, the conduct exhibited by the prosecutor nonetheless should be disapproved."

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  1. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

  2. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  3. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  4. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  5. Different rules for different folks....

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