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Supreme Court receives threats after ruling

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The Indiana Supreme Court has received threatening calls and emails following a ruling last week in which the high court said Hoosiers can’t resist unlawful entry into their homes by police.

Supreme Court Public Information Officer Kathryn Dolan said the threats were primarily toward police. She declined to provide specific information regarding the number of threats, what the calls or messages said, or how this may have impacted day-to-day functions at the court because Indiana Capitol Police are investigating.

“There was a distinct difference between calls or emails from individuals interested in finding out where they could read the actual opinions and individuals who displayed a threat to public safety,” she said. “We obviously want to protect the safety of our employees and alert police to individuals who might be dangerous.”

The justices handed down a split decision May 12 in Richard L. Barnes v. State of Indiana, No. 82S05-1007-CR-343, in which the majority ruled the common-law right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers is no longer recognized in Indiana. Justice Steven David authored the majority opinion, writing that a person has means for redress against unlawful police action, including bail and civil remedies.

Justices Brent Dickson and Robert Rucker each dissented, believing the opinion went too far and tells Hoosiers that government agents may now enter their homes illegally - without a warrant, consent, or exigent circumstances.

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