USI witnesses trial at first Law Day

Roberto Campos

Viagra, pornographic magazines and paraphernalia commonly used with methamphetamine were items found by Indiana State Police officer Jeremy Franklin in Edward Godby’s home.

Attendees witnessed an appeals case focusing on Franklin’s methods of obtaining the evidence found in a locked wooden box at the “Appeals on Wheels” event in Carter Hall Monday.

“This event was good, because you actually get to see the government work,” said Nicholas LaRowe, Assistant Professor of Political Science.

After checking Sudafed logs, Franklin noticed that Godby had purchased enough Sudafed, which is commonly used to make methamphetamine, to surpass legal limits.

Franklin proceeded to lie to Godby’s wife to obtain access to the home and the lockbox containing the aforementioned items, causing the legal case over the legality of the search and seizure.

“This is something students can relate to and are concerned about: Fourth Amendment rights,” LaRowe said.

Brian Reitz, Appellee for the State of Indiana, defended Franklin’s techniques.

“I didn’t want to tell her about our investigative techniques,” Franklin said. “I told her, ‘Hey, we got an anonymous tip about a meth lab being here.’ I lied,” Franklin said.

At the end of the oral argument, no decision was made.

Judge May, one of three judges hearing the appeal, described the appeals process as “it takes eight to nine weeks to come to a conclusion.”

Following the oral argument, the three appeals court judges, Mellissa S. May, Elaine B. Brown and L. Mark Bailey, opened up the event to a question and answer session with the audience.

“This is the third case I’ve been to. It was a good case to sit in on; it dealt with what you could and could not do,” said Jordan Whitledge, junior economics and political science major.

This event was a part of USI’s first annual Law Day.

“Appeals on Wheels” was described by Law Day’s organizer LaRowe as, “The keystone event for the day.”

“People know less about the judicial system than the other two branches, so an event like this appeals case is good for students,” LaRowe said.

The appeals case for Edward Godby v. State of Indiana gave insight to the community on the judicial process.

“The more people see government in action the more respect you have for it,” LaRowe said.