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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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  1. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  2. 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.

  3. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  4. 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.

  5. Dear Fan, let me help you correct the title to your post. "ACLU is [Left] most of the time" will render it accurate. Just google it if you doubt that I am, err, "right" about this: "By the mid-1930s, Roger Nash Baldwin had carved out a well-established reputation as America’s foremost civil libertarian. He was, at the same time, one of the nation’s leading figures in left-of-center circles. Founder and long time director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Baldwin was a firm Popular Fronter who believed that forces on the left side of the political spectrum should unite to ward off the threat posed by right-wing aggressors and to advance progressive causes. Baldwin’s expansive civil liberties perspective, coupled with his determined belief in the need for sweeping socioeconomic change, sometimes resulted in contradictory and controversial pronouncements. That made him something of a lightning rod for those who painted the ACLU with a red brush." http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/biographies/roger-baldwin-2/ "[George Soros underwrites the ACLU' which It supports open borders, has rushed to the defense of suspected terrorists and their abettors, and appointed former New Left terrorist Bernardine Dohrn to its Advisory Board." http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1237 "The creation of non-profit law firms ushered in an era of progressive public interest firms modeled after already established like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP") and the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") to advance progressive causes from the environmental protection to consumer advocacy." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cause_lawyering

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