Note: Reposted this from my reply in same topic, different forum
First here is a link to the Court's opinion for those interested going to the source and not wholly trusting news outlets for their reporting.
RICHARD L. BARNES v STATE OF INDIANA
To give the whole picture and the article does a fairly decent job is Mr. Barnes was contesting that his battery conviction from the connected trial
case should not be able to hold legal grounds because the jury was not advised on the defendants "right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police
Following a 'domestic depute" call, Officer Reed was the first to respond. Upon arriving on the scene, he found Mr. Barnes outside of his apartment
carrying a bag. Obviously at this point, being in an argument with his wife Mary, Mr. Barnes was probably heated.
The court shows that Mr. Barnes became agitated and was yelling at the officer even after he was informed that he could be arrested for "disorderly
conduct". That of course is a discussion for another time, but the officer was apparently trying to gain control of the situation. There was a
point that Mr. Barnes informed the officer he was no longer needed, but in my opinion, Mr. Barnes was not the person who called 9-11 and therefore
couldn't really make that claim.
Following the confrontation outside, Mary came out and "threw a black duffle bag in Barnes‘s direction" and told him to "take the rest of his
stuff". She returned to the apartment, but she also invited her husband back into the apartment by telling him to get the rest of his stuff.
This is when the battery occurred. After reentering his apartment, the officers tried to follow in and "investigate". Mr. Barnes told them that
they were not allowed and blocked the door way. The court shows Mary gave no explicit invitation for the officers to enter, but reportedly said
"don‘t do this" and "just let them in."
Than, Officer Reed forced his way into the apartment and Mr. Barnes pushed Officer Reed against the wall. Mr. Barnes was taken down by a choker hold
During his trial, Mr. Barnes attempted to instruct the jury that a citizen has a reasonable right to resist unlawful entry, but was overruled by the
sitting judge and the jury was instructed that there was none. Mr. Barnes was found guilty of his crimes.
So there is whole context of the situation. Now, the specifics of the Indiana Supreme Court opinion.
What is amazing is giving the history of the common-law right to reasonably resist unlawful entry and arrest, the Indiana Supreme Court cites two
United States Supreme Court cases that upheld that very right. Bad Elk v United States
and United States v Di Re (1948)
Each respectively upheld the common-law practice that "If the officer had no right to arrest, the other party might resist the illegal attempt to
arrest him, using no more force than was absolutely necessary to repel the assault constituting the attempt to arrest" and "One has an undoubted
right to resist an unlawful arrest, and courts will uphold the right of resistance in proper cases".
The Court did offer counter-arguments to these two cases involving our highest court in the form of lower court rulings and legal scholarly writings.
The court also referred to outside states that have 'abolished the right' because of modern thinking that the expectation of individual liberty
no longer outweighs public safety.
(Note: This is not legal opinion but rather from a work of the scholars Hemmens & Levin)
We believe however that a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth
Those are the exact words of opinion from the Court. For context, even though I know most of you here know the Fourth Amendment, it reads"
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be
violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be
searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Where the argument can play out, and the Court did not address is what is "unreasonable searches and seizures". This of course, I would hope Mr.
Barnes would escalate to the highest court and have the Supreme Court weigh in on. Not merely for his arguments, but because of the Indiana Supreme
Court ruling effectively abolishing a common-law right from the bench without weighing the possible implications.
The rest of the opinion, which I implore you all to read goes on to detail the summary of evidence. I think Mr. Barnes should up channel this to the
Supreme Court of the United States because of the initial charge; Battery of an Officer. There the court ruled that Mr. Barnes, who does not deny
shoving the officer into the wall, was not in his right to be secure in his personal property and effects.
The dissenting views would have still held Mr. Barnes I believe on his charges, but their views were in protection of the wholesale destruction of the
common-law practice that Indiana was still using. The best dissension of the opinion I believe is the following:
But the common law rule supporting a citizen‘s right to resist unlawful entry into her home rests on a very different ground, namely, the Fourth
Amendment to the United States Constitution.
and goes on to say:
In my view it is breathtaking that the majority deems it appropriate or even necessary to erode this constitutional protection based on a
rationale addressing much different policy considerations. There is simply no reason to abrogate the common law right of a citizen to resist the
unlawful police entry into his or her home.
In Payton v New York, the Supreme Court held that "The Fourth Amendment, made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment, prohibits the
police from making a warrantless and nonconsensual entry into a suspect's home in order to make a routine felony arrest."
Yet Indiana decided to completely destroy the common-law practice, rather than apply a narrow ruling and opinion on the matter at hand and in turn,
eroded the citizen's rights of Indiana in regards to the Fourth Amendment.