Addison v. State, No. 49S05-1105-CR-267, __ N.E.2d __ (Ind., Feb. 22, 2012).

In addressing a Batson challenge by a defendant who failed to rebut the State’s purported race-neutral explanation at trial, the fundamental error standard is used on appeal to evaluate the argument the explanation was a pretext; concludes State’s explanation was a pretext when “the State failed to strike apparently similarly situated non-black venirepersons, . . . mischaracterized Turner’s voir dire testimony when offering its race-neutral reason for striking him from the panel and failed to engage Turner in any meaningful voir dire examination on the issue of his reliance on expert witness testimony.”

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In re Ind. Newspapers, Inc., No. 49A02-1103-PL-23, ___ N.E.2d ___ (Ind. Ct. App., Feb. 21, 2012).

Regarding whether a non-party news organization can be compelled to disclose in a defamation lawsuit the identity of an anonymous commenter, the Court of Appeals adopts a modified Dendrite test requiring the plaintiff to produce prima facie evidence to support only those elements of the cause of action that are not dependent on the commenter’s identity.

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Hampton v. State, No. 84S04-1103-PC-161, __ N.E.2d __ (Ind., Feb. 14, 2012).

When the evidence of the actus reus of the crime is entirely circumstantial, an instruction is required that “[i]n determining whether the guilt of the accused is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, you should require that the proof be so conclusive and sure as to exclude every reasonable theory of innocence.” Pattern Instruction on the topic inappropriately has the jury rather than the judge determine whether evidence is all circumstantial, and mens rea evidence should not be subject to the special instruction. In this case, DNA evidence would appropriately have been considered as circumstantial.

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Sanjari v. State, No. 20S03-1105-CR-268, __M N.E.2d __ (Ind., Feb. 16, 2012).

“Indiana Code Section 35-46-1-5 permits a separate class D felony conviction for nonsupport of each dependent child, but only one such offense may be enhanced to a class C felony where the unpaid support for one or more of such children is $15,000 or more.”

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State v. Holtsclaw, No. 49A02-1108-CR-743, __ N.E.2d __ (Ind. Ct. App., Feb. 16, 2012).

State cannot appeal the denial of a motion to correct error, so that here motion to correct aimed at successful motion to suppress could not be appealed and appeal of suppression motion itself was untimely.

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