ILNews

Man’s statement on drug allowed at trial

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The Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday that a trial court did not commit fundamental error in admitting Charles Meriwether’s statement to police that he had marijuana in his car.

In Charles Meriwether v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1208-CR-676, Meriwether, who was convicted of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana and Class D felony possession of paraphernalia, argued his answer to a police question about the contents of his car should not have been admitted as evidence. Police pulled into a Marion County parking lot to investigate drug-related activity and found Meriwether’s car parked. Meriwether voluntarily exited his car and placed his hands on it. The officer smelled burnt marijuana and asked if there was anything in the car he needed to know about. Meriwether replied “marijuana.”

The drug and a pipe were found in his car, which he also claimed were admitted in error.

Meriwether didn’t object at his trial to the admission of the statement, so he waived his argument that it shouldn’t have been admitted. The Court of Appeals held the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion when it admitted Meriwether’s statement because he wasn’t in custody for purposes of Miranda when the officer asked him about possible items of concern in his vehicle.

 

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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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