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Jacks v. Duckworth

decided: September 13, 1988.

EDWARD DENNIS JACKS, JR., PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
JACK DUCKWORTH, SUPERINTENDENT, INDIANA STATE PRISON, AND INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL, RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. No. 86-C-460 -- Allen Sharp, Judge.

Cudahy and Manion, Circuit Judges, and Will, Senior District Judge.*fn*

Author: Manion

MANION, Circuit Judge.

Jacks appeals the district court's decision to deny his third petition for a writ of habeas corpus. We affirm.

I.

Edward Jacks, an Indiana arms dealer, returned from a business trip to Georgia upset that negotiations for a deal with a foreign government had fallen through. Upon returning, his wife informed him that she had filed for divorce and that she and the couple's two children had moved from the couple's house into an apartment. His wife subsequently returned to the house with the children to collect some clothing and belongings. Jacks greeted her at the front door with an assault rifle. She turned, trying to gather up the children as she fled. Jacks shot and killed her.

Jacks was charged with first degree murder and tried before a jury in the Superior Court of Elkhart County, Indiana. Jacks claimed that he was insane at the time of the shooting. The jury convicted Jacks of first degree murder and the trial court sentenced him to life in prison. He is currently incarcerated in Indiana.

Since being sentenced to life in prison, Jacks has launched several attempts to overturn his conviction. These attempts have included a direct appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court, three petitions for a writ of habeas corpus filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, an appeal filed in this circuit, an application for the issuance of a certificate of probable cause filed in this circuit, and a petition for a writ of certiorari filed in the United States Supreme Court. This continuing effort notwithstanding, Jacks remains incarcerated and he now appeals from the denial of his third petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

Jacks' numerous petitions and appeals have raised several constitutional grounds for overturning his conviction. Two of these grounds are relevant to the present appeal. The first ground concerns the admission of Jacks' post- Miranda warning request for an attorney as evidence of sanity. This request was part of a tape-recorded conversation between Jacks and Detective Sergeant Miller of the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department. At the beginning of the conversation, Sergeant Miller informed Jacks of his Miranda rights. Sergeant Miller and Jacks then engaged in a conversation concerning, among other things, Jacks' arms business. Alter talking about Jacks' business, the following colloquy took place:

[Sergeant] Miller: Do you know what has happened? Tonight?

Mr. Jacks: I'm not exactly sure what happened.

[Sergeant] Miller: You're not exactly sure. Have you been drinking?

Mr. Jacks: As regards whatever happened this evening, I want to talk to my attorney.

[Sergeant] Miller: Okay.

Miller and Jacks then continued their conversation but did not talk about the shooting.

At Jacks' criminal trial, the court allowed the state to introduce the initial portion of the taped conversation up to and including Jacks' statement that he wanted to talk to an attorney. The State introduced this portion of the taped conversation as evidence of Jacks' sanity at the time of the shooting, and in his closing argument, the prosecutor mentioned all the statements made by Jacks in this portion of the conversation, including Jacks' request for counsel. The trial court did not allow the remaining portion of the conversation to be admitted into evidence. See Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S. 477, 68 L. Ed. 2d 378, 101 S. Ct. 1880 (1981) (holding that police must cease questioning of arrested person after person invokes right to counsel). A transcript of the entire conversation is set forth in Appendices A and B to the majority opinion in Jacks v. Duckworth, 651 F.2d 480, 488-90 (7th Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 454 U.S. 1147, 71 L. Ed. 2d 300, 102 S. Ct. 1010 (1982). (For ease of reference, we refer to the opinion in Jacks' first appeal as Jacks I.) Jacks claimed that the admission of the initial portion of the taped conversation into evidence, and the prosecutor's comment on the evidence, unconstitutionally penalized the exercise of his rights to remain silent and to counsel.

Jacks' second ground of constitutional error involves the trial court's instructions to the jury. Jacks' challenge to the instructions focused on State's Instruction No. 5, which stated:

You are instructed that where a specific intent is required to make an act an offense, such as in the charge preferred against the Defendant, it is not always possible to prove a purpose by direct evidence, for purpose and intent are subjective facts. That is, they exist within the mind of man, and since you cannot delve into a person's mind and determine his purpose and intent, you may look to all the surrounding circumstances, including what was said and done in relation thereto; bearing in mind the presumption of law, that everyone is presumed to intend the natural and probable consequences of his voluntary acts, unless the circumstances are such as to indicate the absence of such intent.

When an unlawful act, however, is proved to be knowingly done, no further proof is needed on the part of the state in the absence of justifying or excusing facts, since the law presumes a criminal intent from an unlawful act knowingly done.

Jacks I, 651 F.2d at 491. At the time of Jacks' trial, the burden was on the State to prove Jacks' sanity beyond a reasonable doubt. See Riggs v. State, 264 Ind. 263, 265, 342 N.E.2d 838, 841 (1976). Jacks claimed that the instruction's language that "everyone is presumed to intend the natural and probable consequences of his voluntary acts" and that the "law presumes a criminal intent from an unlawful act knowingly done" violated his due process rights by creating a mandatory ...


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