Criminal case

High court addresses Protected Person Statute

March 31, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Addressing for the first time under the current Rules of Evidence a case regarding a protected person testifying at trial as well as by videotape or other statement, the Indiana Supreme Court held that if the statements are consistent and both are otherwise admissible, testimony of a protected person can't be presented both in open court and in a pre-recorded statement through the Protected Person Statute.
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Plea puts stop to federal death penalty trial

March 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The first-ever federal death penalty trial for the Southern District of Indiana was set to start today, but a plea agreement means a trial likely won't be happening at all for a man connected to a violent killing spree four years ago.
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COA: Switchblade ban not unconstitutional

March 24, 2009
Jennifer NelsonMore

High court rules on self-representation issue

March 17, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed a trial court's ruling that a defendant who was competent enough to stand trial wasn't competent to represent himself at trial, an issue on remand from the Supreme Court of the United States.
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Case shows challenge of ending res gestae

March 16, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man's convictions and sentence for the 2007 murder and rape of a 14-year-old girl in Columbus, noting that the evidence the man objected to being admitted showed the challenges presented by eliminating the doctrine of res gestae.
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7th Circuit: Courts wrongfully denied re-litigationRestricted Content

March 11, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Finding Indiana state and District courts erred in denying a convicted killer the chance to re-litigate his claim for relief from execution because he is mentally retarded, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the District Court's denial of the man's habeas petition
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Judges disagree on proof-of-age issue

March 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed today about whether the state proved in its case a convicted child molester was 21 years old at the time the molestation occurred.
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Man isn't entitled to parental privilege defense

March 4, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an issue of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals had to decide whether a defendant who lived in a woman's home in exchange for babysitting her children would fall under the parental privilege defense for disciplining a child.
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Case requires balancing act by court

February 27, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In a case requiring the Indiana Court of Appeals to "perform a delicate balance" between making sure a mentally disabled person wasn't improperly denied his constitutional rights and not penalizing police for non-coercive conduct, the appellate court affirmed the denial of a defendant's motion to suppress.
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Court affirms conviction, sentence despite error

February 25, 2009
Jennifer NelsonMore

Court affirms sentence for non-support of 8 kids

February 24, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court didn't err in imposing three consecutive sentences following a man's guilty plea to three counts of felony non-support of a dependent because his failure to pay didn't constitute a single episode of criminal activity, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Justices affirm 1989 murder convictions

February 19, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld four murder convictions against a Lakeville man who as a teenager killed his family 20 years ago.
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Court affirms delay in jury trial for congestion

February 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant's arguments that because his request for a speedy trial was in writing, his trial should take priority over another man's trial scheduled for the same day.
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Woman didn't prove she should get new trial

February 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a defendant didn't meet her burden of proving her newly discovered evidence claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals today upheld the denial of her petition for post-conviction relief.
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COA: Mother not liable for death as gun buyer

January 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in a negligence claim in favor of a woman whose husband killed her daughter with a gun she purchased for him, finding the designated evidence doesn't show proximate cause.
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Judges differ in stipulation matter

January 27, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed on whether a defendant pleaded guilty to the enhancement of his auto theft conviction based on his previous conviction for a similar crime.
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Miscarriage an 'act' in intimidation charge

January 22, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed today a man's conviction of and sentence for intimidation after he threatened his wife, who recently miscarried. The appellate court ruled the miscarriage fulfilled the "act" part of the charge as contemplated by Indiana statute.
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COA adopts 'compromise approach' of theory

January 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man's conviction of child molesting, ruling he failed to prove the trial court erred by excluding certain evidence regarding his victim.
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COA: No credit for pretrial home detention

January 14, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court's decision not to award a man credit time for pretrial home detention, finding the man's rights weren't violated under the federal or Indiana constitutions.
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COA reverses assisting criminal conviction

January 5, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a woman's conviction of misdemeanor assisting a criminal Jan. 2 because the state failed to define "fugitive from justice" and prove the criminal was charged with an offense in another state and fled to Indiana.
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Justices split in traffic-stop decision

January 5, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Supreme Court justices were split in their decision issued Dec. 31 on whether a defendant's state and federal constitutional rights were violated when police questioned him about weapons and drugs after he was pulled over for a traffic violation.
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Judges disagree on intent issue in rape trial

January 1, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed as to whether a defendant in a rape case put his intent at issue during trial by attempting to show his victim consented to sex with him.
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Judges differ in interpretation of earlier ruling

December 31, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed today as to whether a man's convictions of attempted sexual misconduct with a minor and attempted dissemination of matter harmful to minors should be reversed because his intended victim was actually a police officer conducting an online sting operation.
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Mom's promoting prostitution sentence stands

December 30, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the 17-year sentence for a woman convicted of prostituting her daughter, finding her sentence was appropriate and that an even longer sentence could be justified.
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COA upholds violent offender registration

December 29, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the state's sex and violent offender registry doesn't violate the Indiana Constitution by requiring violent offenders to register for a 10-year period or for life.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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