jury instructions

COA advice: Leave affirmation out of jury instructions

August 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man’s convictions of battery and disorderly conduct will stand, but the Indiana Court of Appeals cautioned trial courts that including law enforcement affirmations in jury instructions should not, calling the practice “undesirable and completely avoidable.”
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ABA calls for including implicit bias in jury instructions

August 12, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Over opposition from some attorneys including one from Indiana, the American Bar Association has adopted a resolution that calls for judges to instruct jurors on implicit bias.
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Justices rule jury instruction not fundamental error

June 22, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court found a jury instruction that jurors “shall presume” that a man’s alcohol concentration equivalent was above the legal limit if his chemical test, taken hours later, was at 0.08 or higher was not fundamental error. As such, it affirmed his conviction.
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Man loses home damage appeal that blamed neighbor’s watering

May 20, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man whose Monroe County home was lost to mold contamination lost his appeal of a jury verdict in favor of his neighbor. The homeowner had claimed his neighbor's excessive watering of her lawn caused water damage to the basement of his home.
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Appellate court defines rules of police stops

April 27, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a man’s tendered jury instruction was a mistake of law and not a mistake of fact and upheld his conviction of felony resisting law enforcement by fleeing. The judges then outlined what fleeing law enforcement means and what rights police officers and drivers have to determine location of stops.
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7th Circuit seeks public comment on civil jury instructions

April 25, 2016
IL Staff
The 7th Circuit Pattern Jury Instruction Committee has released revised pattern Section 1983 civil jury instructions which will be available for comment through Friday.
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Denial of jury instruction was correct, COA rules

March 10, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals said a trial court was right in denying a man’s jury instruction that would have applied mens rea to every element of aggravated battery, saying the severity of an injury is not an element of prohibited conduct, but a result of it.
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7th Circuit: cousins conspired to sell heroin; another gets new trial

March 9, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said two cousins conspired to distribute heroin, despite the claim from the defendants they were running separate heroin businesses.
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Indiana Judges Association launches website

February 1, 2016
IL Staff
The Indiana Judges Association is now online. The organization has created a website with information for judicial officers and the public.
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Jury instruction splits Supreme Court

January 25, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Jury instructions that included the interpretation from an appellate ruling split the Indiana Supreme Court as to when trial courts should look beyond the statute.
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Erroneous jury instruction leads to DWI conviction reversal

December 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A jury instruction given at a man’s drunken-driving trial resulted in fundamental error because it contained a constitutionally impermissible evidentiary presumption, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded. As such, the court reversed the man’s conviction.
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Justices: Jury should hear defense of necessity instruction

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ordered a new trial for a man convicted of a misdemeanor gun charge after finding he presented sufficient evidence to have the jury instructed on his defense of necessity.
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Ruling in favor of doctors in med mal case upheld

October 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court properly tendered a jury instruction in a medical malpractice case that advised the jury that physicians are not liable for an error in diagnosis or treatment when exercising reasonable care, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Cocaine dealing conviction affirmed over jury instruction challenge

October 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of dealing cocaine failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse due to what he claimed was an erroneous jury instruction.
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After the verdict, attorneys have learning opportunity

September 23, 2015
Teryn Armstrong
In both federal and state courts, jury feedback occurs after a trial is over. Despite how helpful attorneys and jurors often find this extra step, though, it isn’t always part of the process.
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The juror experience: deliberating the verdict

September 23, 2015
Teryn Armstrong
Determining the final outcome of a case may bring about feelings of apprehension and stress, and leave jurors second-guessing their decision.
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Jury foreman sent to jail for 30 days for using cellphone

June 12, 2015
 Associated Press
The foreman of a North Carolina jury is spending 30 days in jail because he used his cellphone in the jury room.
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Woman’s theft, check deception convictions affirmed

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday that a defendant did not establish that the trial court abused its discretion by refusing her proffered jury instruction or in the admission of pretrial identification evidence.
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COA splits over jury instruction, affirms conviction

March 27, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the Indiana Court of Appeals split over whether the jury instruction was erroneous, the panel was unanimous in upholding the defendant’s conviction for theft from Walmart.
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Justices spell out required 'presumption of innocence' jury instruction

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A convicted murderer who didn’t receive a requested jury instruction on the presumption of innocence lost his appeal Wednesday, but the Indiana Supreme Court used the case to impart an exact instruction trial courts must use going forward upon request.
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Counsel’s ‘risky’ trial strategy is not considered ineffective

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial attorney who decided to pursue a trial strategy in a theft case that did not request a jury instruction on the lesser-include offense of criminal conversion did not provide ineffective assistance of counsel, the Court of Appeals ruled.
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Despite jury instruction error, man’s battery conviction upheld

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court erred in giving one jury instruction on self defense that only applies when deadly force is involved, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an inmate’s Class A misdemeanor battery conviction because he otherwise couldn’t prove his self-defense claim.
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Justices: Pattern Jury Instruction 9.05 is correct statement of law

October 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Clearing up confusion among the courts as to whether a jury instruction regarding the definition of “intentionally” can include that the defendant intended to “cause the result” of his conduct, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed Pattern Jury Instruction 9.05 represents a correct statement of the law.
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COA: Gas station did not commit spoliation regarding mat

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision to not instruct a jury in a personal injury action regarding the spoliation of evidence. Margaret Dawson, the injured party, had ample time to inspect the mat she tripped on before the store replaced it.
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Judges uphold man’s resisting law enforcement conviction

July 7, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding the evidence to be sufficient to support a man’s conviction of misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction Monday. The judges also found no error in the trial court’s instructions to the jury.
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