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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. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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