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Woman fails to prove animal fighting statute is unconstitutionally vague

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A Marion County woman failed to carry her “heavy burden” of proving that Indiana Code 35-46-3-10, which governs dog fights, is unconstitutionally vague, the Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

Alice Lee appealed her Class A misdemeanor conviction of attendance at an animal fighting contest. Police received a tip from a confidential informant about a dog fight occurring at an Indianapolis residence. Lee was in the garage where the fight was occurring, but told police she was just there to pick up her pit bull, which was in her car in the driveway.

She contended in Alice Lee v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1112-CR-1090, the word “attends” in I.C. 35-46-3-10, is so vague as to make the statute unconstitutional. The statute says “a person who knowingly or intentionally attends a fighting contest involving animals commits cruelty to an animal, a Class A misdemeanor.” An “animal fighting contest” is a conflict between two or more animals, doesn’t include a conflict that is accidental or unorganized, and “animal” does not include human being.

Lee argued that the statute could lead to someone being arrested if they watched a dog fight on the Internet, a simulation of a fight for a movie, watched a friend feed a mouse to a pet snake, or attended a circus and watched a man box with a kangaroo or wrestle a bear.

The statute makes clear that the scenarios Lee proposed would not fall under the statute, Judge James Kirsch wrote. He did note that the court “reserve(d) for another day the question of whether a person who pays to watch an animal fight live on the Internet can be said to be attending an animal fighting contest.”

 

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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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