evidence

Justices hear textbook case of errors in evidence

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who stabbed his son-in-law and was convicted of battery with a deadly weapon argues trial court errors prevented him from presenting evidence that he acted in self-defense. The appellant claims the victim was the first to strike, whacking him with a 2-by-4 piece of lumber.
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Incredible dubiosity argument does not sway Indiana Supreme Court

March 24, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Inconsistencies from witnesses on the details of a crime did not convince the Indiana Supreme Court to overturn a jury’s verdict that found a South Bend man guilty of two murders.
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Justices reverse trespass conviction of man near break-in scene

March 24, 2015
Dave Stafford

The Indiana Supreme Court reversed the trespassing conviction of a man arrested by Indianapolis police who saw him running in a field near the scene of a reported break-in.

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Mistaken interpretation of law by officer created reasonable suspicion

March 24, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed its earlier reversal of a trial court ruling after the Supreme Court of the United States found that reasonable mistakes of law do not violate the Fourth Amendment.
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Absence of evidence douses tobacco charge

February 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indiana inmate’s punishment for allegedly trafficking in tobacco was snuffed out when the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found he was convicted without evidence of guilt.
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Ex-Greensburg police chief faces theft, misconduct counts

February 17, 2015
 Associated Press
A former Greensburg police chief has been arrested after an audit of evidence records found discrepancies that a prosecutor said could affect more than a dozen cases.
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COA affirms admission of re-recorded videos in rape trial

February 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of raping his wife after drugging her – and recording several sexual encounters – could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the wife’s recordings of the videos she found on her husband’s cellphone should not have been admitted at his trial.
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Texts present unique challenges in evidence preservation and admission

February 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
Of the billions of text messages sent daily in the world, a few will wind up as evidence in litigation. A few that should will not, and that could mean trouble for lawyers.
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Man’s conviction for murdering neighbor upheld

February 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Citing a wide array of circumstantial evidence to support a Cass County man’s murder conviction in connection with his neighbor’s death, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction.
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COA reverses conviction based on unreasonable police search

February 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer had no reasonable suspicion to believe that a container found in a man’s pocket during an arrest held any illegal substances, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. As such, it reversed his Class D felony possession of schedule III controlled substance conviction, ruling it violated the Indiana Constitution.
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Juvenile’s delinquent adjudication reversed based on illegal search

January 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because the physical evidence used to adjudicate a teen as delinquent was the direct result of an illegal search of his backpack by police, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed.
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Appeals court affirms cocaine-dealing conviction

January 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of Class A felony dealing cocaine and adjudicated a habitual substance offender couldn’t persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that he was deprived of a speedy trial or that the evidence against him was improperly admitted or insufficient.
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Court properly excluded evidence regarding victim’s truthfulness

January 8, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court was correct to exclude evidence of specific instances from a woman regarding the truthfulness of her son, the victim of a sex crime, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday. That evidence is prohibited by Indiana Evidence Rule 608.
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First impression: Suspect’s recorded talk in police car admissible

January 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
What a South Bend man said to another suspect while they were alone in the back of a police cruiser was recorded by an in-car video camera and properly presented to a federal jury, a panel of judges decided in a matter of first impression for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Ohio woman’s incriminating statements properly suppressed

December 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Ohio woman charged with murder and other crimes in Ripley County prevailed in the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday when the judges affirmed the grant of her motion to suppress incriminating statements she gave to police.
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7th Circuit upholds bank robbery conviction despite errors

December 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although a federal court in Indianapolis committed some errors in admitting certain evidence at a man’s bank robbery trial, those errors were harmless based on DNA evidence and the defendant matching the robber’s description, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Justices find detective’s inadmissible hearsay is harmless error

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court reinstated a man’s conviction of being a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm after finding that a detective’s inadmissible hearsay amounts to a harmless error.
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Divided appeals panel reverses judgment against Thomson

December 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court improperly ruled in favor of an insurer on Thomson Inc.’s claims for the cleanup of toxic chemicals at two consumer electronics manufacturing sites.
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SCOTUS affirms search based on misunderstanding of law

December 15, 2014
 Associated Press
Police can use evidence seized during a traffic stop even if it turns out the officers initially pulled a car over based on a misunderstanding of the law, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday.
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Court properly allowed evidence identifying precursors used to make meth

December 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted an ingredient label and the testimony of a detective relating to the identification of three precursors commonly used to make methamphetamine, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Federal court rules amendments take effect

December 2, 2014
IL Staff
Federal Rules of Practice and Procedure amendments took effect Monday governing the appellate, civil, bankruptcy and evidence rules.
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Judges reverse probation revocation due to inadmissible evidence

November 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man’s probation was revoked based on unsubstantiated evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the revocation Friday.
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Judges: Cop shouldn’t have asked driver for license

November 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a man’s motion to suppress evidence collected during an investigatory traffic stop. The judges held that once the police officer knew the owner of the vehicle – who had a suspended license – was not driving, the investigation should have ended.
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Judges reverse drug charges based on constitutional violation

November 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed drug charges against two Bloomington men after finding the police detective’s actions unreasonable. The detectives entered the men’s property while looking for another person despite clear signs of "no trespassing."
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Appeals court upholds burglary conviction but sends matter back to trial court

November 12, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found sufficient evidence to conclude that a man’s house qualified as a dwelling, thereby supporting a defendant’s burglary conviction. But the judges sua sponte reviewed the trial court’s entry of judgment and sentencing order and decided to send the matter back to the lower court.
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  2. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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