jury instructions

Updated instructions aim to prevent social media use during trial

August 24, 2012
IL Staff
Federal judges have new guidelines for keeping Twitter and Facebook out of the jury box.
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Alternate juror’s comment doesn’t entitle man to new trial

August 22, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court properly determined an alternate juror’s alleged conduct posed only a remote risk of prejudice, and the judge’s admonishment of that juror was not an error, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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Judge did not modify jury instructions

August 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Lawrence County man was unable to prove to the Court of Appeals that the trial court abused its discretion when it denied his motion for a mistrial. He argued the judge modified the jury instructions when he answered a question from the jury in mid-deliberations.
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Judges affirm drunk-driving conviction

August 9, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Madison Circuit judge did not abuse his discretion in instructing the jury on operating a vehicle while intoxicated as a Class C misdemeanor, a lesser-included offense of drunk-driving charges a man faced, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.
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Man who killed girlfriend may be retried for reckless homicide

July 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The post-conviction court erred in denying Andrew McWhorter relief when he challenged his conviction of voluntary manslaughter in connection to the death of his girlfriend, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded. McWhorter may not be retried on the same charge, but may face retrial for reckless homicide.
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Judges uphold college student's rape conviction

June 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The man charged with raping a fellow Vincennes University student following a night of drinking had his conviction affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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COA holds omission of 'voluntary' was not an error

June 5, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision to refuse a man’s tendered jury instructions.
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Trial court erred in instructing jury in negligence case

April 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial in a case alleging a product was negligently designed, with the majority finding the trial court erred when it instructed the jury on the rebuttable presumption under Indiana Code 34-20-5-1.
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COA adopts Restatement (Third) of Torts Section 14

March 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court in concluding a new trial is warranted to determine allocation of fault in a man’s murder. At issue is the percentage of fault to allocate to a criminal defendant and his former employer.
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Divided Supreme Court orders new murder trial

March 23, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Three justices have tossed out a murder conviction, ordering a new trial on the grounds that the trial judge should have given the jury the option to consider a lesser offense of reckless homicide.
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Judges revise murder sentence

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the murder conviction of a defendant who killed a Bloomington man in response to a sexual assault, but found the circumstances around the killing warranted a lesser sentence.
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Justices disagree on whether jury instruction requires new trial

March 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The majority of Indiana justices ordered a new trial on liability for a school corporation being sued for wrongful death, finding one of the jury instructions could have misled the jury about a key issue regarding liability.
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Supreme Court upholds refusal to give jury instruction

March 19, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has adopted the full opinion of the Indiana Court of Appeals, which upheld the decision by a trial court not to give a defendant’s tendered instructions on lesser-included offenses of murder.
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Court upholds robbery conviction

March 14, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a woman’s Class B felony robbery conviction over her objections that the jury’s guilty finding for assisting a criminal is logically inconsistent with its guilty finding for robbery as an accomplice.
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Court orders new trial in methamphetamine case

March 7, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for a woman convicted of felony methamphetamine dealing, finding that the Hendricks Superior judge should have instructed the jury on a lesser-included offense of methamphetamine possession.
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Judges uphold drunk-driving conviction

February 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to find that a Marion Superior court abused its discretion when it admitted the results of a chemical breath test.
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No fundamental error in jury seeing previously dismissed counts

February 23, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals relied in part on two decades-old cases from the state Supreme Court to find that exposing the jury to dismissed charges did not deprive a defendant of a fundamentally fair trial.
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Justices reformulate jury instruction

February 15, 2012
The Indiana Supreme Court upheld the denial of a man’s petition for post-conviction relief claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. In doing so, the justices addressed the use and language of a jury instruction and rewrote it to make it clearer.
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COA affirms trial court in felony neglect case

December 29, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a conviction of Class A felony neglect, holding the appellant was unable to prove that he should have been charged with a lesser offense.
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Supreme Court to hold arguments in St. Joseph County

November 11, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will visit Indiana University South Bend and Notre Dame Law School Monday to hear arguments in two cases, including one in which a teen was sentenced to life without parole for murdering his brother.
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COA orders new trial in utility theft case

November 7, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a theft conviction and ordered a new trial for a man who was prohibited from discussing a lesser offense during closing argument.
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COA: Judge erred in giving jury instruction

October 13, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A Jefferson Superior judge erred in giving a jury an instruction on a lesser included offense of domestic battery because there wasn’t a serious evidentiary dispute about whether the battery was committed in the presence of children, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Justices discuss jury unanimity in molestation cases

June 23, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court addressed the issue of unanimous jury verdicts in child molesting cases Thursday, and adopted reasoning from the California Supreme Court when dealing with the “either/or” rule in cases where multiple instances are mentioned but the defendant faces only one charge.
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Annual address praises court activity despite economy, changing times

January 19, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Even though times are tough, the Indiana chief justice says the Hoosier judiciary remains strong and continues to be a leader that other states look to as an example.
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Court upholds convictions, sentence of a man who shot Indy officer

January 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a defendant’s convictions and sentence related to the shooting of an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer in the summer of 2008.
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  1. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  2. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  3. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  4. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  5. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

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