Criminal Case

Justices adopt appellate court findings

June 25, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court issued a pair of short per curiam opinions on Thursday afternoon that adopt what the Indiana Court of Appeals decided on two criminal appeals.
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Judges affirm elevated drug convictions

June 24, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The state presented sufficient evidence to prove a defendant delivered and possessed methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex, so the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed elevating his convictions to a higher felony level.
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Translated transcripts necessary for jury

June 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court didn’t abuse its discretion when it admitted transcripts translated into English of drug transactions recorded in Spanish because the jury wouldn’t be able to understand the recording, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit rules on attorney withdraw brief practicalities

June 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Ruling on an issue of first impression, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today extended the logic of an eight-year-old case to how criminal defendants challenge their supervised release and revocation penalties and what must be discussed in attorney withdraw briefs on those issues.
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Court: refusal to identify law applies to passengers

June 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Although state law allows police to request identification from passengers inside a car that they’ve stopped, two Indianapolis officers shouldn’t have done arrested a man for refusing to identify himself when there was no reasonable suspicion he’d done anything wrong.
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Accused attorney attacker suspended

June 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The attorney accused of attacking another lawyer last year has been suspended from practice.
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Gaming agents have full police power

June 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A gaming agent of the Indiana Gaming Commission constitutes a “law enforcement officer” for purposes of the offense of resisting law enforcement, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided today.
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Prosecutor candidate indicted for child porn, false informing

June 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Attorney and Democratic candidate for Gibson County Prosecutor William R. Wallace III was indicted Tuesday on charges of obstruction of justice, possession of child pornography, patronizing a prostitute, and false informing.
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COA: Officer's observation didn't violate man's rights

June 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a defendant’s various drug convictions and sentence, finding the police officer didn’t violate the man’s Fourth Amendment rights by looking in the defendant’s car when trying to serve a warrant.
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SCOTUS won't take Indiana lab tech case

June 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court won’t take a case from the Indiana Supreme Court, which decided last year that it did not violate a man’s Sixth Amendment rights for a lab technician who’d processed DNA evidence to not testify at trial.
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Justices say sentencing scores can be used

June 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
State trial judges can consider sentencing scores to help tailor penalties to individual defendants, as long as those results aren’t used as final aggravating or mitigating factors in deciding a penalty length, the Indiana Supreme Court says
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Judges uphold sentence increase on appeal

June 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s sentence that they had increased on appeal in March in an opinion on rehearing today and addressed the characteristics of an Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B) review.
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Court rules on literacy program, educational credit time

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
While applauding a prison inmate for pursuing higher education while behind bars, the Indiana Court of Appeals has determined that man shouldn’t receive additional educational credit time for a program the state system doesn’t consider to fit into its definition of “literacy and life skills” programs.
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Justices differ on defining 'youth program center'

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Supreme Court justices objected to affirming a man’s drug sentence for possession within 1,000 feet of a “youth program center” because the church that ran the programs wasn’t easily identifiable as regularly running programs for kids.
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Officer's questions went beyond seat belt act

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The inquiry by a police officer to a driver stopped for a seat belt violation about the "large, unusual bulge" in his pants went beyond the state's Seatbelt Enforcement Act, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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SCOTUS reverses 7th Circuit on sex offender registration

June 1, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court reversed the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today on an Indiana case, holding that that a federal sex offender registry law does not apply to those convicts whose interstate travel happened before the 2006 statute took effect.
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COA: Breathalyzer certificate is not testimonial

May 28, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
For the first time since the Supreme Court of the United States’ 2009 ruling that found a defendant had a Sixth Amendment right to confront the analysts who prepared lab certificates certifying the defendant had cocaine, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that a trial court did not violate the defendant’s right to confrontation by allowing the inspection certificate for a breathalyzer into evidence, even though the certifier of the equipment did not testify at trial.
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Court rejects stale trash evidence argument

May 26, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected an argument that evidence found in a trash search was stale because no other garbage had been collected in the past two weeks and that seized material could have been too old.
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Supreme Court analyzes appellate review rule on sentences

May 25, 2010
Addressing an issue that’s divided the state’s intermediate appeals judges, the Indiana Supreme Court has held that review under Appellate Rule 7 may include consideration of a person’s total penal consequences within a trial court sentence.
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Sexually violent predator petitions must be refiled

May 24, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The status as a sexually violent predator for two inmates stands for now, but the Indiana Court of Appeals directed the men to refile their motions to remove that status pursuant to the recently amended statute dealing with this issue.
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Judges rule on pre-existing condition case

May 21, 2010
Highlighting the highly controversial health care debate that’s played out during the past year, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled on a pretty straightforward case about a pre-existing condition clause that denied a man’s claim for long-term disability benefits.
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COA discusses jury-selection procedures

April 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Despite being sensitive to a defendant's concerns about having no African-Americans included in his jury pool, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his felony convictions of altering an original identification number and auto theft.
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Jury not properly instructed at man's trial

April 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a defendant's convictions of battery and resisting law enforcement, and disorderly conduct because the jury wasn't properly instructed about the man's defense of the right to reasonably resist unlawful entry into his home.
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High court upholds life sentence

April 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court upheld a man's sentence of life in prison, noting the defendant's numerous opportunities to reform, but that he continued to commit crimes.
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7th Circuit affirms cross burner's convictions

April 7, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found sufficient evidence to uphold a Muncie man's convictions stemming from his burning of a cross in front of the home of a family with biracial children.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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