« Law - More on: Flood insurance issues now on trial | Main | Ind. Decisions - Transfer list for week ending July 14, 2006 »

Friday, July 14, 2006

Ind. Decisions - Inside details on Hammon v. Indiana argument before the U.S. Supreme Court

Under the heading "U.S Supreme Court decides Indiana 'confrontation clause' case today", this June 19th ILB entry began:

Under the title Davis v. Washington, the Supreme Court today handed down an opinion covering both that case and Hammon v. Indiana, dealing with hearsay and the confrontation clause.
Today the Peru Tribune has a story titled "Judge, attorney and prosecutor recount Hammon case on Rochester radio station." that begins:
Three local criminal justice officials gave a recounting of the facts of a case local attorney Robert Spahr argued that made it all the way to the Supreme Court during the "Friday Legal Program" on WROI-FM, Rochester, Friday morning.

Spahr, Miami Circuit Judge Rosemary Higgins Burke and Deputy Prosecutor Brent Davis talked about the attention the case drew and the rulings' significance to courts across the United States.

The court overturned the decisions of the Miami Circuit Court, the Indiana Court of Appeals and the Indiana Supreme Court, saying that testimony Peru Police Officer Jason Mooney gave in court of what the victim told him after a domestic dispute was inadmissible.

The case was paired with a similar case from Washington state to give the justices a parameter to look at when making their decision, Spahr explained, but the Washington decision was upheld.

"The Washington case was the result of a 911 call," Davis said. "The court found in that particular instance that the person was able to call, was not in the presence of police, was alone, and was not under the influence of police officers at the time."

Spahr attended the Supreme Court hearing in March and walked away impressed.

"It is a remarkable experience to watch four attorneys pretty much get reamed out with difficult questions from the individual justices," Spahr said. " ... It was amazing. They are extraordinarily punctual - when you're done, your done, and they're not kidding. You do not move in your chair as a spectators, you will not cause any disruptions, you will not even stand up - you cannot do anything while the arguments are in progress." * * *

Higgins Burke said that she is waiting to hear from officials on what to do with the case. She said either judgment has to be set aside or the state has to move forward with seeking forfeiture of the defendant's right to confront, if they find wrongdoing in him keeping the victim away from the courtroom that day.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 14, 2006 01:42 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions