ISU hosts Indiana Court of Appeals

The Court of Appeals for the State of Indiana made a stop at Terre Haute's Indiana State University.

Posted: Feb. 27, 2018 6:44 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - There's nothing quite like learning by seeing something in action. That was the case for a courtroom full of Indiana State University students on Tuesday afternoon who witnessed "Appeals on Wheels."

That's a program where the Indiana Court of Appeals brings an actual court case for public viewing.

In this case, students saw a real court case in a room that housed federal proceedings for nearly a century. They met in what was once the federal courtroom in Terre Haute, now part of Federal Hall on the ISU campus. 

The audience heard "Jerry Decker vs. the State of Indiana."

Decker was convicted by a Clark County, Indiana jury on a Level 3 felony charge of Attempted Aggravated Battery. He's serving time at the Indiana Department of Correction.

In his appeal, he's contesting some of his convictions, some on lack of evidence, others on double jeopardy. Both sides had oral argument before the panel of three judges, who also interrupted them with poignant questions. 

"The students in advance read the briefs the parties filed," said David Bolk, a member of ISU's legal studies faculty. "They had the chance to really learn what goes on in an appellate court."

The judges promised the students they'll be among the first to read their opinion on Decker's case once it becomes public.

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