CoAoI Oral Argument at a Glance

Picture of Q&A w/ court of appeals judges may bailey & robb #iuecourt This image is licensed under a CC-0 License

Q&A w/ court of appeals judges may bailey & robb #iuecourt This image is licensed under a CC-0 License

I went to IU East to watch a the Court of Appeals of Indiana hear the appeal in the case of Jack Suprenant, Jr. vs. State of Indiana. This case it wild. The Indiana Law Blog has this blub up about it

Jack E. Suprenant, Jr., v. State of Indiana (45A04-0906-CR-319) – Suprenant admitted to killing his girlfriend with a knife. At trial, his defense was that he acted in “sudden heat” and therefore committed Voluntary Manslaughter. The trial court declined to instruct the jury on Voluntary Manslaughter, concluding that there was no serious evidentiary dispute that Suprenant acted in sudden heat. A jury found him guilty of Murder. Suprenant appeals the instruction of the jury, the for-cause excusing of two potential jurors, and the appropriateness of his sentence

The hand out that was given to everyone so we could have some background on the case tells a story of infidelity and conflict resulting in the slaying of Kerry Bruckman.

Here are my notes of what transpired:

IUE – Court of Appeals of Indina Oral Argument at a Glance

Oral Arguments 12.15 – 2

Jack Suprenant, Jr. vs. State of Indiana

State lawyer – Karl Scharnberg
Defence – Thomas Vanes
Judge – Melissa May
Judge – Mark Baily
Judge – Margret Robb
He/his/him- Jack Suprenant, Jr
Her/hers – Kerry Bruckman

12.09 auditorium is starting to fill up – lots of students and lots of suits
12.14 all rise
12.15 Vanes wants voluntary manslaughter
12.16 claims that there were 12 hours of arguments before killing
12.18 Judges arguing that “mere words” do not warrant voluntary manslaughter
12.22 Vanes claims that her packing her bags was conformation that she had cheated on him
12.23 Vanes claims that this qualifies as sudden heat
12.25 Vanes is seated

12.26 Scharnberg says voluntary manslaughter is part of murder.
#this is hard to follow
12.27 Scharnberg contends that the only evidence of sudden heat is not corrabirated by anyone else than the defendant
12.28 Scharnberg claimed that the packing wasn’t the trigger
12.29 stabbed 61 times knife obtained after argument… knife was in be dstand
12.30 Scharnberg Scharnbergs that packing is not enough sufficient provocation
12.32 Scharnberg says that packing is not provocation for most people
12.34 no instruction for voluntary manslaughter is ok if there is no evidentiary dispute
12.35 Scharnberg claims that leaving is the exact opposite of provocation
12.36 Scharnberg argues that leaving cant be sudden heat because the heated arguments were going on for 24 hours
12.37 Scharnberg argues amount of stab wounds indicates rage but not sudden heat
12.38 defendant was stabbing stopped because kids came in the room because she was calling for them, he stopped to chase them out, and then kept stabbing
12.39 he said she could have stopped it by claiming she loved him
12.40 he said i knew if he hit her he’s go to jail, so he figured hed stab her
12.41 Scharnberg discusses jury dismissal, one juror was removed because the had been at a wine tasting, there was no discussion of whether they were prejudiced
12.44 Scharnberg is seated

12.45 Vanes rises
12.47 Vanes defends that Scharnbergs comments don’t mean that sudden heat wasnt there
#its hard to hear Vanes he isn’t talking into the mic
12.50 Vanes is talking well past his time
12.51 Baily judge asks how long can you wait and still claim sudden heat
12.51 Vanes claims that it was new heat on the conformation of infidelity

12.52 concludes oral argument – explanation of how the sausage is made

12.53 Q&A – can not ask about case
12.54 Q: Will you make a judgement today? Baily A: will not make judgement today
12.58 Q: how do you maintain objectivity? A: #longwinded they use procedure, but they acknowledge that they do fail, there are humans involved. lawyers bring errors to the appellate they don’t read the entire case
1.00 May A: objectivity comes from not having a personal connection to the case (text has no bias)
1.02 #did not hear question / appellate court judges are elected
1.04 #missed question A; discussion of difference between trial and appellate.
1.06 appellate is easier when you were the trial lawyer
1.07 Q: Does appellate just fight everything the defendant says? A. not really, but he does have to argue something for the client (State of Indiana)
1.10 #more boring sausage making about how cases are received and transferred
1.11 Q: Oral argument and why is this case at iue different than others A. they do not do oral argument only when its needed, the difference is commuting
1.12 Baily talks about webcast at the indygov site click on the court section just look for it
1.14 Q: What makes oral argument worth doing A: decision is made based on the issues in the case
1.16 Q: Is there more success in oral appeal? A: would love to have oral argument for everything but money is the reason why they dont
1.20 Q: when you’re a public defender do you have enough funds to fight the State A: its by county but yeah
1.22 Vanes says you can appeal even if you plea out
1.23 Q: what advise do you have for under grads
May A: English classes. you do more writing than anything
Scharnberg agrees
Baily agrees on writing
Robb says classic studies logic and writing

1.29 dismissed

I will have the handout scanned and available here asap


2 thoughts on “CoAoI Oral Argument at a Glance

  1. Uhm, iiuc, this trip was for homework. Wow… Taken it to the extreme for the H/W. As a professional student (20 + years of school and more now), I applaud your work!

    • This was actually for my girlfriends class, I was reporting on it because she was too sick to go. I went because I thought it was interesting. You should see my next post about the student film fest I went to 🙂

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