ILNews

Transfer granted to out-of-state warrant case

Jennifer Nelson
May 29, 2009
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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Thursday in a case involving an arrest in Indiana with an invalid Alabama warrant.

In David A. Shotts v. State of Indiana, No. 71A03-0808-CR-400, the Court of Appeals reversed David Shotts' conviction of carrying a handgun without a license with a prior felony, ruling the Alabama warrant used to arrest him was invalid pursuant to the Fourth Amendment and Indiana Constitution. The warrant didn't provide any facts from which a neutral magistrate could have drawn his own conclusion as to the existence of probable cause and the Alabama affiant merely alleged Shotts had committed a crime.

The appellate court also ruled the good faith exception isn't applicable to the evidence seized during Shotts' arrest. The state argued because Indiana officers executed the arrest warrant without actually seeing it, they can't be charged with knowledge of any defects and thus must have acted in good faith. But because the Alabama officer who obtained the warrant in the first place should have known his testimony was insufficient to support a probable cause determination, his actions preclude the good faith exception from applying in this case, the judges ruled.

"To the extent that the U.S. Supreme Court is limiting the viability of the exclusionary rule pursuant to the Fourth Amendment, we are not convinced that our supreme court will follow suit and diminish safeguards historically recognized pursuant to Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution," wrote Judge Terry Crone.

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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