Articles

7th Circuit holds lawyer rule on impact of guilty plea for immigrants not retroactive

A three-judge panel for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has determined a landmark decision from the Supreme Court of the United States last year isn't retroactive. That rule required criminal defense attorneys to advise clients about the immigration impact of signing a guilty plea, and this means past cases wouldn’t benefit from that holding even if those individuals had been deprived of that Sixth Amendment right.

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Court divided over consent to 5-person jury

A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges split on the issue of whether a defendant agreed to allow a five-member jury to decide her case after one juror fell ill, with the dissenting judge believing the defendant – not her counsel – must consent to the five-person jury.

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Victim’s statements to nurse allowed, but judges reverse convictions

The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a victim’s statements detailing her physical attack and identifying her attacker were admissible in court and were nontestimonial, so the defendant’s confrontation rights weren’t violated. However, the judges reversed the man’s convictions because the trial court shouldn’t have admitted prior misconduct evidence involving the defendant and the victim.

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Man’s Sixth Amendment right not violated

The failure of a judge to inquire into a defendant’s written complaint about his public defender didn’t violate the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel, the Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday. However, the justices explained if a trial judge finds him or herself in a situation similar to the one presented, that judge should at least receive assurances from the public defender’s office that the complaint has been adequately addressed.

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Local counsel rule found unconstitutional

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Northern District of Indiana was essentially creating a built-in appeal issue on ineffective assistance of counsel, and it called out a senior judge for violating a man’s Sixth Amendment right to choose his own lawyer.

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Defense attorney’s arranged drug buy illegal

The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a Bloomington attorney’s argument that his arrangement of a drug buy in an attempt to discredit a state’s witness against his client wasn’t a criminal offense because he’s “on the same legal footing” as prosecutors or police in planning controlled buys.

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Ticket can’t constitute ‘testimonial hearsay’

Because a chemical breath-test evidence ticket is a mechanically produced readout that can’t be considered “testimonial hearsay” under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the Indiana Court of Appeals held a man’s Sixth Amendment rights weren’t violated when the equipment technician didn’t testify at his drunk-driving trial.

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Booking card exception to hearsay rule

A booking card created by law enforcement in the course of a ministerial, nonevaluative booking process is not subject to
the police reports exclusion under Indiana Evidence Rule 803(8), the Indiana Court of Appeals decided today.

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AG wants Melendez-Diaz overturned

The Indiana Attorney General's Office is joining several states in co-authoring an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court of the United States to modify or overturn its decision in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts

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SCOTUS: Lab techs must testify

A decision today from the Supreme Court of the United States will have an immediate impact on Indiana, where state justices are considering at least two cases about whether lab technicians who've tested evidence in a case must appear on the stand.

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