Last week, Indiana Supreme Court justices were unable to reach a unanimous decision by refusing to consider further two cases seeking a transfer of jurisdiction to the High Court.
The judges first granted a motion requesting the transfer of jurisdiction in Kelsie L. West v. Indiana State, 22S-CR-43. In the case, Kelsie West of Bloomington allegedly committed a computer intrusion after taking her ex-boyfriend’s Snapchat password from her computer without permission and posting nude pictures sent to her by another woman.
The Indiana Court of Appeals found, among other things, that the Indiana Legislature intended a single computer to fall within the definition of a “computer system.” He ultimately concluded there was no abuse of power by denying West’s motion to dismiss the computer intrusion charge.
The Supreme Court Okay to determine that he should not assume jurisdiction over West’s case, reversing his original order granting the transfer. However, Chief Justice Loretta Rush opposed the denial.
The judges are also divided on whether to grant a transfer in the event of Abram Lamar Glover v. Indiana State, 21A-CR-1422, a case involving domestic violence convictions that were given to Abram Glover after he strangled his girlfriend, EA
Glover was charged in June 2020 with Level 6 strangulation and Level 6 household battery. During jury selection, the Knox Superior Court dismissed Glover’s multiple objections that the state was using the process to condition inappropriately for prospective jurors to be receptive to his case. He also objected to the state’s opening statement, which told jurors that EA was forced to hire and pay Glover’s attorney.
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that no improper conditioning of the jurors and the state’s questions were irrelevant and that there was no error in denying the motion to quash the Glover trial. He also found that Glover had failed in his onus to prove prosecutorial misconduct.
Judge Steven David dissented, saying in a separate opinion that he would have granted the transfer of the case to provide clarification because he believed the state conducted an improper ‘mini-trial’ during a voir dire in violation of jury rule 14(b).
“The plain language of the rule indicates that the ability to ‘present brief statements of facts and issues’ is within the discretion of the trial court. However, this Court has never addressed the proper procedure or scope to authorize such statements,” David wrote.
“I would find that such a discretionary determination would be best handled at a pre-trial conference so that the parties can determine the scope and scope of the mini-opening in advance, and not do so for the first times when potential jurors are seated and the ‘traditional voir dire’ is about to begin,” he continued. “And if the trial court, in its discretion, determines that it is appropriate to allow a mini-opening, both parties should have the opportunity, and the trial judge should endeavor to manage the parameters so to reduce the risk of problems and abuse resulting from these mini-openings before the voir dire even begins.
David also suggested that the parties and the trial court determine how to clearly delineate the end of the mini-opening and the start of the traditional voir dire “to clear up any potential confusion for potential jurors.”