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Man's conviction hinges on 'induce' definition

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The Indiana Court of Appeals had to determine how to interpret the term “induce” related to a man’s contributing to the delinquency of a minor case and upheld his conviction based on the term’s dictionary definition.

In Thomas Temple v. State of Indiana, No. 27A05-1101-CR-31, Thomas Temple challenged his conviction of Class A misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The state alleged that Temple knowingly induced his 15-year-old neighbor to leave her house. Temple and his neighbor had been exchanging text messages planning for A.H. to leave her house and “hook up” with him. Her parents became suspicious and didn’t let her leave the house that night.

Temple moved for judgment on the evidence based on the fact that A.H. never actually left her home. His motion was denied and he was found guilty.

The judges focused on the term “induce” that the state used in the charging information. Temple believed that induce required that A.H. actually left her house; the state claimed the term is more akin to the word “encourage,” and is satisfied when the defendant acts to persuade a minor to commit a delinquent act, regardless of whether the minor actually completes the alleged conduct.

There isn’t a case that specifically defines “induce,” so the judges looked at Black’s Law Dictionary’s definition of “inducement:” the “act or process of enticing or persuading another person to take a certain course of action.”

“A common understanding of ‘entice’ and ‘persuade’ suggests that a person need not do anything but influence another’s mind or beliefs to have committed ‘inducement,’” wrote Judge Cale Bradford. “Temple’s restrictive interpretation of ‘induce’ appears counter to this relatively broad definition.”

The judges also cited Dorn v. State, 819 N.E.2d 516, 520 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004), in which “entice” was interpreted in the promoting prostitution statute as not requiring some form of completed act, to affirm Temple’s conviction.

Judge Bradford noted that the statute under which Temple was charged criminalizes the mere act of “encouraging,” which suggests that the General Assembly intended to criminalize conduct regardless of whether it resulted in a completed act.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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