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Justices take felony murder, child support cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to two cases - a convicted murder’s appeal and a case involving child support nonpayment.

The justices accepted Joey Addison v. State of Indiana, No. 49S05-1105-CR-267, in which Joey Addison, an African-American, claimed the trial court erred in denying his Batson challenges and erred in excluding evidence. Addison was found guilty but mentally ill of murder and sentenced to 45 years. The trial court had accepted the state’s race-neutral rationale for striking four African-Americans who were potential jurors. The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded the state’s proffered explanations were facially valid and there was no racially discriminatory intent inherent.

He also claimed the trial court should have admitted his sister’s prior deposition into evidence despite her refusal to travel from Georgia to testify at his trial. The Court of Appeals found the sister’s testimony created an issue of fact that the jury could have taken into account in arriving at its verdict, but it was a harmless error under the circumstances of the case.

In Amir H. Sanjari v. State of Indiana, No. 20S03-1105-CR-268, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the double jeopardy prohibition had been violated by filing two charges of Class C felony nonsupport of a dependent child against Amir Sanjari related to his refusal to pay any support for his two children. The judges noted that the law says a person can be charged with a Class C felony if the total amount of unpaid child support is at least $15,000 and is owed for one or more children. Sanjari, who owed more than $17,000, argued that only one child support order had been issued and it included both children, so he shouldn’t have been charged or convicted twice.

The Court of Appeals vacated one of his convictions and affirmed the five-year sentence on the remaining charge. The appellate court also concluded Sanjari received enough notice and there wasn’t evidence that he couldn’t have attended a hearing.

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  3. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  4. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

  5. Once again Indiana has not only shown what little respect it has for animals, but how little respect it has for the welfare of the citizens of the state. Dumping manure in a pond will most certainly pollute the environment and ground water. Who thought of this spiffy plan? No doubt the livestock industry. So all the citizens of Indiana have to suffer pollution for the gain of a few livestock producers who are only concerned about their own profits at the expense of everyone else who lives in this State. Shame on the Environmental Rules Board!

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