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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. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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