ILNews

Misconduct not inappropriate enough to alter trial outcome

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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A prosecutor ;s request to call opposing defense counsel to the stand during a Pike County trial may have been inappropriate, but the Indiana Court of Appeals has determined it didn ;t rise to the level of misconduct that would have impacted the outcome.

The appellate panel issued its decision today in Joshua J. Nolan v. State, which stems from a 2005 case leading to Nolan ;s conviction for criminal deviate conduct and residential entry. He raised three issues on appeal, but the court restated them as five and discounted them all in their affirmation of his conviction.

During trial, the prosecutor, Boyd A. Toler, asked to call Nolan ;s defense counsel, Douglas S. Walton, to testify in response to cross-examination of a state trooper regarding DNA evidence. Court records show that questioning called for speculation on the trooper ;s part, and the prosecutor decided to call the opposing attorney to clarify what had been said on the issue. The judge called for a sidebar, and the two attorneys reached a stipulation that resulted in the testimony not being needed.

"While we agree with Nolan that the prosecutor ;s conduct before the jury was highly inappropriate, we cannot agree that the inappropriate conduct placed Nolan ‘in a position of grave peril, ;" the court wrote, continuing later in the opinion that "the prosecutor ;s subsequent statement to the jury that opposing counsel ;s testimony was unnecessary overcame any misconduct."

The full opinion can be read at Joshua J. Nolan v. State of Indiana.
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  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

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  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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