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Three-way opinion affirms marijuana conviction

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Three Court of Appeals judges each wrote opinions but affirmed a Grant County man’s conviction of Class D felony possession of marijuana.

In Dontae M. Clark v. State of Indiana, 27A04-1306-CR-269, Clark argued that the court committed fundamental error when it admitted marijuana seized from him when he was searched on a street after police saw him purchase synthetic marijuana at a convenience store. The sample of marijuana seized was not analyzed, though, apparently because the sample was too small, Judge Cale Bradford wrote for the panel.

Panelists concurred that admitting into evidence what detectives confirmed as pot was not fundamental error. They likewise rejected Clark’s Fourth Amendment claim and his argument that the court abused its discretion when it permitted detectives to offer an opinion on the nature of the substance they found on Clark.

“In addition to Detectives Fleece’s and Sizemore’s testimony, there was other circumstantial evidence supporting a finding that Clark possessed illegal drugs," Bradford wrote. "The State produced sufficient evidence to sustain Clark’s conviction for marijuana possession.”

In a concurring opinion, Judge Paul Mathias wrote that because Clark failed to preserve the argument for appeal, “I believe it is unnecessary to address Clark’s evidentiary arguments on the merits.”

In a separate concurrence, Judge Rudy R. Pyle III wrote that efforts to prove the material was marijuana ran into a “roadblock” because Indiana State Police lab policy sets a minimum quantity for analysis.

“There is likely a rational reason behind the laboratory’s policy, but this type of administrative decision impacts prosecutors, defense counsel, judges, jurors, and defendants,” Pyle wrote. “For these reasons, I would respectfully submit that the laboratory’s policy decision be reconsidered by our colleagues in the executive branch.”
 

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  2. Unlike the federal judge who refused to protect me, the Virginia State Bar gave me a hearing. After the hearing, the Virginia State Bar refused to discipline me. VSB said that attacking me with the court ADA coordinator had, " all the grace and charm of a drive-by shooting." One does wonder why the VSB was able to have a hearing and come to that conclusion, but the federal judge in Indiana slammed the door of the courthouse in my face.

  3. I agree. My husband has almost the exact same situation. Age states and all.

  4. Thanks Jim. We surprised ourselves with the first album, so we did a second one. We are releasing it 6/30/17 at the HiFi. The reviews so far are amazing! www.itsjustcraig.com Skope Mag: It’s Just Craig offers a warm intimacy with the tender folk of “Dark Corners”. Rather lovely in execution, It’s Just Craig opts for a full, rich sound. Quite ornate instrumentally, the songs unfurl with such grace and style. Everything about the album feels real and fully lived. By far the highlight of the album are the soft smooth reassuring vocals whose highly articulate lyrics have a dreamy quality to them. Stories emerge out of these small snapshots of reflective moments.... A wide variety of styles are utilized, with folk anchoring it but allowing for chamber pop, soundtrack work, and found electronics filtering their way into the mix. Without a word, It’s Just Craig sets the tone of the album with the warble of “Intro”. From there things get truly started with the hush of “Go”. Building up into a great structure, “Go” has a kindness to it. Organs glisten in the distance on the fragile textures of “Alone” whose light melody adds to the song’s gorgeousness. A wonderful bloom of color defines the spaciousness of “Captain”. Infectious grooves take hold on the otherworldly origins of “Goodnight” with precise drum work giving the song a jazzy feeling. Hazy to its very core is the tragedy of “Leaving Now”. By far the highlight of the album comes with the closing impassioned “Thirty-Nine” where many layers of sound work together possessing a poetic quality.

  5. Andrew, if what you report is true, then it certainly is newsworthy. If what you report is false, then it certainly is newsworthy. Any journalists reading along??? And that same Coordinator blew me up real good as well, even destroying evidence to get the ordered wetwork done. There is a story here, if any have the moxie to go for it. Search ADA here for just some of my experiences with the court's junk yard dog. https://www.scribd.com/document/299040062/Brown-ind-Bar-memo-Pet-cert Yep, drive by shootings. The lawyers of the Old Dominion got that right. Career executions lacking any real semblance of due process. It is the ISC way ... under the bad shepard's leadership ... and a compliant, silent, boot-licking fifth estate.

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