Vaughan v. State, No. 2-782A206

Docket NºNo. 2-782A206
Citation446 N.E.2d 1
Case DateFebruary 28, 1983
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

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446 N.E.2d 1
Michael VAUGHAN, Appellant (Defendant below),
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff below).
No. 2-782A206.
Court of Appeals of Indiana,
Second District.
Feb. 28, 1983.

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Brent Westerfeld, Public Defender, Lafayette, for appellant.

Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen., John D. Shuman, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

SHIELDS, Judge.

Michael Vaughan (Vaughan) appeals his conviction of burglary under I.C. 35-43-2-1 (Burns Code Ed.Repl.1979) raising three issues:

1) Whether the trial court erred in refusing Vaughan's tendered instructions on the presumption of innocence;

2) Whether the trial court erred in refusing Vaughan's tendered instruction on voluntary intoxication;

3) Whether there was sufficient evidence to prove the element of intent to commit a felony.

I

In regard to the presumption of innocence, Vaughan's requested and refused instruction number one covered four matters: the existence of the presumption, its accompaniment of the defendant step by step throughout the trial, the jury's duty to view and weigh the evidence in light of the presumption, and the State's burden of proof. 1 Vaughan's requested and refused instruction number four covered the jury's duty to reconcile the evidence upon the theory of the defendant's innocence. 2 Vaughan contends

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the court's refusal of his requested instructions resulted in the jury not being fully instructed on the presumption of innocence, therefore denying him a fair trial.

In both preliminary and final instructions the court instructed the jury on the existence of the presumption of innocence, the jury's duty to view and weigh the evidence in light of the presumption, and the State's burden of proof. 3 A court does not err in refusing a tendered instruction if other instructions adequately state the law. Gilmore v. State, (1981) Ind., 415 N.E.2d 70, 74; Brandon v. State, (1978) Ind., 268 Ind. 150, 374 N.E.2d 504, 507. Therefore, the question presented by Vaughan is whether it is reversible error to omit an explicit reference to the presumption remaining with the defendant throughout the trial, step by step.

Indiana has long required an instruction both on the presumption of innocence and the State's burden of proof. E.g., Simmons v. State, (1979) Ind.App., 385 N.E.2d 225; Long v. State, (1874) 46 Ind. 582. This requirement is despite the fact that the presumption of innocence and the State's burden of proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt are logically similar. However, a separate instruction on the presumption of innocence is deemed not merely preferable, but necessary, in our State because "it cautions the jury to put away from their minds all the suspicion that arises from the arrest, the indictment, and the arraignment and to reach their conclusions solely from the legal evidence adduced." 9 J. Wigmore, Evidence Sec. 2511 at 530 (Chadbourn rev. 1981) quoted in Taylor v. Kentucky, (1978) 436 U.S. 478, 486, 98 S.Ct. 1930, 1935, 56 L.Ed.2d 468, quoted in Simmons v. State, (1979) Ind.App., 385 N.E.2d 225, 226. Thus, Indiana has historically afforded the defendant more protection than is mandated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. See Kentucky v. Whorton, (1979) 441 U.S. 786, 99 S.Ct. 2088, 60 L.Ed.2d 640.

Indiana has recently followed the lead of the U.S. Supreme Court in holding a defendant cannot claim denial of a fair trial solely because his tendered instruction on presumption of innocence was refused. Kentucky v. Whorton, (1979) 441 U.S. 786, 99 S.Ct. 2088, 60 L.Ed.2d 640 (explaining Taylor v. Kentucky, [1978] 436 U.S. 478, 98 S.Ct. 1930, 56 L.Ed.2d 468); Bledsoe v. State, (1980) Ind., 410 N.E.2d 1310. Rather, refusal to give the requested instruction must be evaluated "in light of the totality of the circumstances--including all the instructions to the jury, the arguments of counsel, whether the weight of the evidence was overwhelming, and other relevant factors...." Kentucky v. Whorton, 441 U.S. at 789, 99 S.Ct. at 2090 quoted in Bledsoe v. State, 410 N.E.2d at 1316.

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However, because the jury was instructed on the presumption of innocence in Bledsoe, we do not regard Bledsoe's adoption of the totality of the circumstances test as retreating from our longstanding law requiring an instruction on the presumption. Rather, we view Bledsoe as applying the totality of the circumstances test to determine whether the particular instruction which was given, after the defendant's instruction was rejected, was sufficient to assure the defendant received a fair trial.

Vaughan bases his argument on the early case of Farley v. State, (1891) 127 Ind. 419, 26 N.E. 898, wherein the court held it reversible error when a general instruction was given

"to the effect that the defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; but no instruction was given .... to the effect that the presumption of innocence prevails throughout the trial, and that it was the duty of the jury to reconcile the evidence upon the theory of the defendant's innocence, if they could do so."

Id. at 420-21, 26 N.E. at 899.

However, as the State points out in its brief, the court in Farley held it error to instruct the jury on neither the perseverance of the presumption throughout the trial nor the jury's duty to reconcile the evidence on the theory of innocence of the accused if possible. Thus, the error in Farley was merely instructing on the existence of the presumption of innocence without providing the jury with any explanation of how the presumption works. Farley did not, as Vaughan contends, hold it is mandatory to explain the operation of the presumption of innocence by instructing that it follows the defendant throughout the trial step by step. Contra Simmons v. State, (1979) Ind.App., 385 N.E.2d 225.

Looking at the totality of the circumstances, 4 we hold the operation of the presumption of innocence was sufficiently covered in the court's instructions and Vaughan was not denied a fair trial. The jury was instructed in both preliminary and final instructions that

"Under the law of this State, a person charged with a crime is presumed to be innocent. To overcome the presumption of innocence, the State must prove the defendant guilty of each essential element of the crime charged, beyond a reasonable doubt.

"The defendant is not required to present any evidence to prove his innocence or to prove or explain anything."

Record at 60, 105.

The jurors were further instructed at both times that "You should attempt to fit the evidence to the presumption that the defendant is innocent and the theory that every witness is telling the truth...." Record at 62, 109.

We agree with the State that if one attempts to reconcile the evidence with the presumption of innocence, it is implicit that the presumption continues to apply. Further, the instructions directed the jury that the defendant did not have to do anything to prove his innocence. We find nothing in any of the separate instructions nor the instructions as a whole from which a juror might conclude anything other than the presumption of innocence remains with the defendant throughout the legal process.

On the contrary, the only time the presumption terminates, according to the instructions given, is when the State meets its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt on each element of the crime. In this regard, the first instruction given directed the jury to keep an open mind and admonished them not to "form or express an opinion during the trial" nor to reach a "conclusion in this case until you have heard all of the evidence, the arguments of counsel, and the final instructions as to the law which will be given to you by the court." Record at 54. Thus, they were instructed they were

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not to decide if the State had met its burden of proof until the completion of the trial. 5

Examination of the total circumstances at trial fails to show Vaughan was deprived of the presumption of innocence as the presumption as well as its operation were explained to the jury through the court's instructions. Therefore we hold the court did not commit reversible error by refusing defendant's instruction number one which explained operation of the presumption by stating it goes with the defendant throughout the trial step by step. 6

II

Vaughan also contends the trial court erred in refusing his tendered instruction on the defense of voluntary intoxication.

We disagree. It is not error to refuse a tendered instruction if other instructions adequately state the law. Gilmore v. State, (1981) Ind., 415 N.E.2d 70, 74; Brandon v. State, (1978) Ind., 268 Ind. 150, 374 N.E.2d 504, 507.

The court instructed the jury

"The defense of intoxication is defined by law as follows: It is a defense that the person who engaged in the prohibited conduct did so while he was intoxicated. 7 Voluntary intoxication is a defense only to the extent that it negates an element of an offense referred to by the phrase 'with the intent to'."

Vaughan objects to the court's instruction claiming it fails to explain how the voluntary intoxication defense is to be considered and fails to instruct the jury that the "with the intent to" element must be proven by the State beyond a reasonable doubt.

The court's instruction quotes from I.C. 35-41-3-5 (Burns Code Ed.Supp.1982) deleting the portions of the statute not pertinent to Vaughan's case. 8 Where the statutory language is not unconstitutionally

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vague or misleading, it is generally acceptable to give instructions in the exact language of the statute. See Taylor v. State, (1981) Ind., 420 N.E.2d 1231, 1234; Musick v. State, (1972) 258 Ind. 295, 297, 280 N.E.2d 602, 603-04; Zarnik v. State, (1977) 172 Ind.App. 593, 604, 361 N.E.2d 202, 208. See also Basham v. State, (1981) Ind., 422 N.E.2d 1206, 1209-10.

Vaughan has not challenged the language of the statute nor claimed it to be misleading....

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11 practice notes
  • Joy v. State, No. 1-783A228
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • March 8, 1984
    ...or misleading, it is generally acceptable to give instructions in the exact language of the statute." Vaughan v. State, (1983) Ind.App., 446 N.E.2d 1, 5-6. See also Kiper v. State, (1983) Ind., 445 N.E.2d 1353, 1359-60; Taylor v. State, (1981) Ind., 420 N.E.2d 1231, 1234; Zarnik v. State, (......
  • Malone v. State, No. 20A05-9410-CR-398
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • January 29, 1996
    ...indictment, and the arraignment and to reach their conclusions solely from the legal evidence adduced. Vaughan v. State (1983), Ind.App., 446 N.E.2d 1, The trial court gave the following instruction as preliminary instruction 7: "Under the law of the State of Indiana in all criminal cases t......
  • Coates v. State, No. 2-585A141
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 30, 1985
    ...the mere fact of breaking and entering such as the time, force and manner of entry may support the intent element. Vaughan v. State, 446 N.E.2d 1, 7 (Ind.App.1983). Accordingly, Coates's intent to commit theft could have been legitimately inferred from the above evidence by a reasonable jur......
  • Estes v. State, No. 39A01–1205–CR–214.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 10, 2013
    ...that an instruction on the State's burden of proof cannot save an inadequate presumption-of-innocence instruction. See Vaughan v. State, 446 N.E.2d 1, 3 (Ind.Ct.App.1983); see also Simmons, 179 Ind.App. at 344, 385 N .E.2d at 226. In Vaughan, we acknowledged that while presumption-of-innoce......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Joy v. State, No. 1-783A228
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • March 8, 1984
    ...or misleading, it is generally acceptable to give instructions in the exact language of the statute." Vaughan v. State, (1983) Ind.App., 446 N.E.2d 1, 5-6. See also Kiper v. State, (1983) Ind., 445 N.E.2d 1353, 1359-60; Taylor v. State, (1981) Ind., 420 N.E.2d 1231, 1234; Zarnik v. State, (......
  • Malone v. State, No. 20A05-9410-CR-398
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • January 29, 1996
    ...indictment, and the arraignment and to reach their conclusions solely from the legal evidence adduced. Vaughan v. State (1983), Ind.App., 446 N.E.2d 1, The trial court gave the following instruction as preliminary instruction 7: "Under the law of the State of Indiana in all criminal cases t......
  • Coates v. State, No. 2-585A141
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 30, 1985
    ...the mere fact of breaking and entering such as the time, force and manner of entry may support the intent element. Vaughan v. State, 446 N.E.2d 1, 7 (Ind.App.1983). Accordingly, Coates's intent to commit theft could have been legitimately inferred from the above evidence by a reasonable jur......
  • Estes v. State, No. 39A01–1205–CR–214.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 10, 2013
    ...that an instruction on the State's burden of proof cannot save an inadequate presumption-of-innocence instruction. See Vaughan v. State, 446 N.E.2d 1, 3 (Ind.Ct.App.1983); see also Simmons, 179 Ind.App. at 344, 385 N .E.2d at 226. In Vaughan, we acknowledged that while presumption-of-innoce......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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