Jackson v. State Of Ind., No. 39S01-0907-CR-309.

Docket NºNo. 39S01-0907-CR-309.
Citation925 N.E.2d 369
Case DateAugust 31, 2010
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

925 N.E.2d 369

Gary Dennis JACKSON, Appellant (Defendant below),
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff below).

No. 39S01-0907-CR-309.

Supreme Court of Indiana.

April 27, 2010.
Rehearing Denied Aug. 31, 2010.


925 N.E.2d 370

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

925 N.E.2d 371
Jason J. Pattison, Alison T. Frazier, Madison, IN, Attorneys for Appellant.

Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana, Joby D. Jerrells, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, IN, Attorneys for Appellee.
On Petition to Transfer from the Indiana Court of Appeals, No. 39A01-0711-CR-528
BOEHM, Justice.

The trial court declared a mistrial after interviewing jurors regarding their exposure to a newspaper article reporting a letter written by the defendant to the prosecution. The Court of Appeals reversed the defendant's conviction by a newly impaneled jury. The Court of Appeals found insufficient grounds to discharge the earlier jury, and therefore ruled the trial by the new jury violated the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment. We hold that the trial court's determination of the need to discharge the earlier jury is entitled to deference and was not an abuse of discretion on this record. Accordingly, we affirm the conviction.

Facts and Procedural History

On September 12, 2006, Officer Christopher Strouse of the Madison Police Department was dispatched to Ben Smith's apartment on Walnut Street in Madison. When Officer Strouse arrived, he found Smith and Harold Centers in the apartment and Gerald “Bubby” Roberts lying on a mattress with dried blood on it. Paramedics were called to the scene and failed to revive Roberts, who was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Witnesses alleged that Gary Jackson and Roberts had had a physical altercation at Smith's apartment the day before. Jackson was subsequently charged with aggravated battery, a Class B felony, and as a habitual offender. Jackson's first trial in December of 2006 ended in a hung jury.

The jury for the second trial was sworn on April 23, 2007. That same day, a local newspaper ran an article about the trial which contained an excerpt from a letter Jackson had written to the prosecutor trying his case. The article quoted Jackson as writing:

I know my life to you doesn't mean anything, just another poor black man the state can clean-up the book on. I can understand you feeling that way, but at least give Bubby Roberts' family peace by telling them the truth. They deserve that.

The next day, April 24, the state requested a mistrial. The court first identified five jurors who acknowledged they had been exposed to the article, then conducted individual voir dire of the five. One juror had read the first few sentences of the article but stopped when he remembered the judge's instruction to avoid media coverage of the trial. Two had read the entire article but stated that they had not formed
925 N.E.2d 372
an opinion about the case. Two others stated that their spouses had started to read the article aloud, but the jurors told the spouses to stop, and one spouse responded that he knew Roberts. All five testified that exposure to the article would not affect their decision in the case.

The State argued that a mistrial was required because an admonishment to the jury could not overcome the prejudice against the State created by the article. Specifically, the State argued that Jackson's letter implied that he was prosecuted because of his race, and that the State was not telling the truth and would not do so at trial. Jackson replied that there was no prejudice because the five jurors each testified that the article had not caused them to form an opinion. The court agreed that neither Jackson nor his counsel had anything to do with the article. The court also accepted Jackson's claim that the jurors denied any bias, but added, “That's not my issue in my head,” and granted the State's motion for mistrial.

A third jury trial began in June 2007. After hearing various accounts of an encounter between Jackson and Roberts, the jury found Jackson guilty of battery resulting in serious bodily injury, a Class C felony. The trial court imposed a sentence of eight years for the battery. A habitual offender finding was entered but the Court of Appeals stayed Jackson's appeal to permit him to pursue post-conviction relief as to that issue, and the habitual offender finding was vacated. Jackson v. State, 903 N.E.2d 542, 546 (Ind.Ct.App.2009).

After the post-conviction relief was granted, the appeal was resumed. The Court of Appeals reversed Jackson's conviction, finding that the trial court abused its discretion in granting the mistrial and a retrial of Jackson was therefore barred by double jeopardy. Id. at 548-49. We granted transfer.

Discussion

Jackson argues that the trial court abused its discretion in granting a mistrial, so the subsequent trial violated the prohibition against double jeopardy found in both the Federal and Indiana Constitutions. Jackson also argues that the trial court erred in excluding as hearsay a paramedic's testimony reporting a bystander's account of how Roberts was injured. Last, Jackson contends that the evidence was insufficient to support his battery conviction.

As a threshold matter, the State contends that Jackson waived his challenge to the mistrial by failing to object to the trial court's grant of the mistrial. Jackson opposed the State's motion for mistrial and argued before the trial court that a mistrial was inappropriate because the jurors exposed to the article all attested that they were not influenced by it. This brought the issue to the trial court's attention. An objection after the trial court ruled would have been in substance a motion to reconsider a matter that was fully argued. This is not required to avoid waiver. See Ind. Trial Rule 46. We agree with the Court of Appeals that this was sufficient to preserve the issue for appeal. Jackson v. State, 903 N.E.2d 542, 546 (Ind.Ct.App.2009).

I. Double Jeopardy

The Fifth Amendment prohibits the State from placing a defendant in jeopardy twice for the same offense.1

925 N.E.2d 373
Brown v. State, 703 N.E.2d 1010, 1015 (Ind.1998) (citing Benton v. Maryland, 395 U.S. 784, 89 S.Ct. 2056, 23 L.Ed.2d 707 (1969)). Jeopardy attaches when a jury has been selected and sworn Crim v. State, 156 Ind.App. 66, 75, 294 N.E.2d 822, 828 (1973). Once jeopardy has attached, the trial court may not grant a mistrial over a defendant's objection unless it finds a “manifest necessity” for the mistrial. Brown, 703 N.E.2d at 1015 (citing Arizona v. Washington, 434 U.S. 497, 505, 98 S.Ct. 824, 54 L.Ed.2d 717 (1978)). Absent this finding, a mistrial operates as an acquittal to bar further...

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85 practice notes
  • Brock v. State , No. 38S02–1101–CR–8.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • October 18, 2011
    ...jury was impaneled and sworn. See Downum v. United States, 372 U.S. 734, 736–37, 83 S.Ct. 1033, 10 L.Ed.2d 100 (1963); Jackson v. State, 925 N.E.2d 369, 373 (Ind.2010). But this merely “begins, rather than ends, the inquiry as to whether the Double Jeopardy Clause” barred his second trial. ......
  • Shaw v. Wilson, No. 12–1628.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • August 28, 2013
    ...must reject a sufficiency challenge unless no “reasonable trier of fact” could have found the defendant guilty. See Jackson v. Indiana, 925 N.E.2d 369, 375 (Ind.2010). Shaw's conviction was affirmed in a short opinion deferring to the jury's assessment of the witnesses' credibility. See Sha......
  • Shaw v. Wilson, No. 12-1628
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • July 24, 2013
    ...must reject a sufficiency challenge unless no "reasonable trier of fact" could have found the defendant guilty. See Jackson v. Indiana, 925 N.E.2d 369, 375 (Ind. 2010). Shaw's conviction was affirmed in a short opinion deferring to the jury's assessment of the witnesses' credibility. See Sh......
  • Taylor v. State, No. 32A01–1205–CR–230.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 10, 2013
    ...jury was impaneled and sworn. See Downum v. United States, 372 U.S. 734, 736–37, 83 S.Ct. 1033, 10 L.Ed.2d 100 (1963); Jackson v. State, 925 N.E.2d 369, 373 (Ind.2010). But this merely “begins, rather than ends, the inquiry as to whether the Double Jeopardy Clause” barred his second trial. ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
85 cases
  • Shaw v. Wilson, No. 12–1628.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • August 28, 2013
    ...must reject a sufficiency challenge unless no “reasonable trier of fact” could have found the defendant guilty. See Jackson v. Indiana, 925 N.E.2d 369, 375 (Ind.2010). Shaw's conviction was affirmed in a short opinion deferring to the jury's assessment of the witnesses' credibility. See Sha......
  • Brock v. State , No. 38S02–1101–CR–8.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • October 18, 2011
    ...jury was impaneled and sworn. See Downum v. United States, 372 U.S. 734, 736–37, 83 S.Ct. 1033, 10 L.Ed.2d 100 (1963); Jackson v. State, 925 N.E.2d 369, 373 (Ind.2010). But this merely “begins, rather than ends, the inquiry as to whether the Double Jeopardy Clause” barred his second trial. ......
  • Shaw v. Wilson, No. 12-1628
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • July 24, 2013
    ...must reject a sufficiency challenge unless no "reasonable trier of fact" could have found the defendant guilty. See Jackson v. Indiana, 925 N.E.2d 369, 375 (Ind. 2010). Shaw's conviction was affirmed in a short opinion deferring to the jury's assessment of the witnesses' credibility. See Sh......
  • Taylor v. State, No. 32A01–1205–CR–230.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 10, 2013
    ...jury was impaneled and sworn. See Downum v. United States, 372 U.S. 734, 736–37, 83 S.Ct. 1033, 10 L.Ed.2d 100 (1963); Jackson v. State, 925 N.E.2d 369, 373 (Ind.2010). But this merely “begins, rather than ends, the inquiry as to whether the Double Jeopardy Clause” barred his second trial. ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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