State appeals court to hear case at School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Post by IU Newsroom intern Annie Brackemyre

Indiana’s traveling Appeals on Wheels program will make a stop in Bloomington this Friday to hear oral arguments in Pribie v. State, a case on appeal from the Clinton Circuit Court.

Jordan Pribie is appealing his class B felony rape conviction on the grounds that the trial court excluded certain DNA evidence. His lawyer will argue that a misrepresentation of the Rape Shield Law and juror misconduct violated Pribie’s constitutional rights.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Indiana Court of Appeals

The oral arguments before a panel of judges from the Indiana Court of Appeals will begin at 10 a.m. Nov. 6 in IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs building, room 167, on the IU Bloomington campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Appeals on Wheels is an Indiana program helping Hoosiers better understand the role of the judiciary. Just like appeals made in the Indiana Statehouse courtroom, a bailiff calls the court into session, the judges enter and lawyers present their arguments and answer any questions from the judges. Unlike in the Statehouse courtroom, after the arguments, the judges will also answer general law questions from the audience.

“Appeals on Wheels shines a light on the workings of the court and the real-world legal issues its judges must decide,” said Martin DeAgostino, communications director for the Court of Appeals. “Audiences also get to observe skilled legal arguments and advocacy by the participating attorneys, against a framework of specific facts, the Constitution and state law.”

Since the court’s centennial in 2001, Appeals on Wheels has heard over 430 cases in 72 counties in Indiana high schools, colleges, law schools, libraries, conference centers and court rooms.

SPEA’s Law and Public Policy Program is hosting the program, hoping to give undergraduates who are considering a career in law or government a glimpse at the law in action.

“These are real judges and real attorneys grappling with difficult issues of criminal law that affect real people,” said Beth Cate, SPEA associate professor and director of the Law and Public Policy Program.

After the oral arguments, students and the public will be invited to direct questions to the panel of judges. The judges will also help to put this particular oral argument in a wider context of how legal arguments and the courts work to resolve disputes nationwide.

“The Law and Public Policy Program hopes to highlight features of the work of appeals courts that are vital to the rule of law,” said Cate. “For example, engaging in reasoned analysis of constitutional principles and how they should apply to specific circumstances; probing the bases for disagreements and attempting to persuade others to one’s viewpoint in a civil manner; holding the government accountable for behaving constitutionally when taking away someone’s liberty; and doing all of this in public so that we the people can hold the courts accountable too.”


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