Huddleston v. State, 1268S211

Decision Date18 May 1973
Docket NumberNo. 1268S211,1268S211
PartiesMarvin Wayne HUDDLESTON, Appellant, v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

Harrietee Bailey Conn, Public Defender, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., A. Frank Gleaves, III, Deputy Atty. Gen., for appellee.

GIVAN, Justice.

Appellant was indicted for the first degree murder of his wife, Betty Jean Huddleston. Appellant entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. Jury trial resulted in a verdict of guilty as charged. Appellant was sentenced to the Indiana State Prison during life.

It is unnecessary for the purposes of this opinion to go into the details surrounding the appellant's killing of his wife.

Appellant claims the trial court erred in giving its Final Instruction No. 13 to the jury, which reads as follows:

'The defense of insanity is one very frequently made in cases of this kind, and is one which should be very carefully scrutinized by the jury. The evidence at this point should be carefully considered and weighed by the jury, for the reason that if the accused were in truth insane at the time of the commission of the alleged acts, then he ought not to be punished for such acts.

'The evidence on this question of insanity ought to be carefully considered by the jury for another reason, and that is, because a due regard for the ends of justice and the peace and welfare of society demands it, to the end that parties charged with crime may not make use of the plea of insanity as a means to defeat the ends of justice, and a shield to protect them from criminal responsibility in case of violation of law.'

Subsequent to the filing of this appeal, this Court held that a similar instruction dealing with temporary insanity was reversible error. Dipert v. State (1972), Ind., 286 N.E.2d 405, 32 Ind.Dec. 382. In so doing this Court overruled Baker v. State (1921), 190 Ind. 385, 129 N.E. 468, and adopted the reasoning of Aszman v. State (1890), 123 Ind. 347, 24 N.E. 123 wherein the Court made the following statement:

'It can hardly be said to contain the statement of any proposition of law, but is rather in the nature of a general disparagement of the defense of insanity, which the accused had pleaded, as provided by statute. A case might possibly arise in which such a statement could be appropriately made by the court. As the judgment in the present case must be reversed for other reasons, we do not determine whether or not it constituted reversible error in this case. It is sufficient to say that, as at present constituted, the court does not regard with favor any statements by the trial court which are designed to cast discredit or suspicion upon any defense which is recognized by the law as legitimate, and which an accused person is making in apparent good faith. In this respect, we are unable to appreciate any well-grounded distinction between the defense of insanity, self-defense, or...

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5 cases
  • Shutt v. State, 1076S358
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • October 21, 1977
    ...from all of the evidence. The defendant has cited Dipert v. State (1972), 259 Ind. 260, 286 N.E.2d 405, and Huddleston v. State (1973), 260 Ind. 398, 295 N.E.2d 812, wherein we reversed because the instruction relating to the defense of insanity strongly suggested, in each case, that the de......
  • Van Sant v. State, 11A01-8711-CR-281
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • May 17, 1988
    ...v. State (1976), 265 Ind. 8, 11, 349 N.E.2d 161, 164 cert. denied 429 U.S. 943, 97 S.Ct. 363, 50 L.Ed.2d 313; Huddleston v. State (1973), 260 Ind. 398, 400, 295 N.E.2d 812, 814; Steinbarger, 226 Ind. at 603, 82 N.E.2d at 521. However, in the present case, the instruction neither invades the......
  • Walker v. State, 575S133
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • June 21, 1976
    ...286 N.E.2d 405, and was approved by the Court of Appeals in Hamp v. State, (1974) Ind.App., 301 N.E.2d 412. In Huddleston v. State, (1973) 260 Ind. 398, 295 N.E.2d 812, we reversed because of the identical instruction that occasioned reversal in Dipert. To a considerable extent, the Dipert ......
  • Clay v. State, 874S166
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • May 14, 1976
    ...shook him. Although it is perfectly proper for a lay witness to give an opinion as to the sanity of a person, Huddleston v. State, (1973) 260 Ind. 398, 295 N.E.2d 812, 36 Ind.Dec. 493, the statements excluded by the judge in this instance were conclusions by the witness as to the thought pr......
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