Thursday, September 11, 2008

What I Learned Today: Strangulation as a Class D Felony

I had no idea that there was a special crime of "Strangulation." But here it is--Indiana Code § 35-42-2-9(b):
A person who, in a rude, angry, or insolent manner, knowingly or intentionally:
(1) applies pressure to the throat or neck of another person; or
(2) obstructs the nose or mouth of the another person;
in a manner that impedes the normal breathing or the blood circulation of the other person commits strangulation, a Class D felony.
Subsection (a) exempts "medical procedures." So a doctor can strangle you in a rude, angry, or insolent manner as part of a medical procedure?

From Autuan M. Leanyear v. State, Court of Appeals No. 02A03-0806-CR-268 (Ind. Ct. App. 8/27/08) (NFP). (If you read the case, there might have been a pretty good claim that there was no evidence that the "strangulation" was rude, angry, or insolent.)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Why There Are Lawyers: "Custody" vs. "Confinement"

More language fun, this time from the 7th Circuit.

It is fundamental that to be eligible for habeas relief, one must be "in custody." After all, a habeas petition is a request that one's jailer produce one's body (the corpus part) before the court (instead of the king now) and justify the detention. It is also fundamental that "custody" includes parole or probation.

For the purposes of Federal Rule of Evidence 609(b) and the 10-year limit (absent extreme justification) on the use of prior convictions to impeach, however, it works a little differently. The 10-year limit runs from "the date of the conviction or of the release of the witness from the confinement imposed for the conviction, whichever is the later date . . . ."

The 7th says (in a circuit first-impression case) that once released on probation, one has been released from confinement for Rule 609(b) purposes. But while on probation, for habeas purposes, as I said above one is still "in custody."

I guess it's the difference between Tyson's chickens and the free-range variety.

United States v. Rogers, Case No. 06-6730 (7th Cir. 9/4/08)

Comment Bait: "Advertising Material" vs. "Legal Advertisement"

Indiana Lawyers have to include the words "Advertising Material" in their ads. So a couple of lawyers screwed up and put "Legal Advertisement" in their ad instead of the magic words. And they sent a copy of the ad to the Disciplinary Commission to boot, as they were required to do. The lawyers even corrected the mistake four years ago.

The Indiana Supreme Court dings the lawyers in this case with a public reprimand for this in part, saying that "[u]se of the phrase Legal Advertisement' may create the impression that the Commission or some other body had reviewed it and found it to be 'legal.'"

Maybe under an ad for a chiropractor. The only possible double meaning I perceive under an ad for a lawyer would be that the ad is legally permitted. Some people might think lawyers are not permitted to advertise, since once upon a time, in many jurisdictions at least, they weren't. (Ahh, those were the days, right?)

It seems to me that only the Indiana Supreme Court and the lawyers in the Disciplinary Commision itself could think that "Legal Advertisement" might refer to the Commission or some such entity.

Anyone with a different take?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Quote of the Day: About Suicide Clauses in Insurance Contracts

"[A]n insured is not 'performing' a life insurance contract by not committing suicide." Dean Officer v. Chase Ins., Case No. 07-2826 (7th Cir. 9/3/08) (Judge Tinder), slip op. at 12.