Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Biased Juror? Eli Weldon Haley: Mentioned in Indiana Case Law

While doing a Google search on my paternal great-grandfather, Eli Weldon Haley (1866-1957), I came across an interesting link that tied him to Indiana case law.  He was mentioned in the court case of Greer v. State of Indiana (1929) which went to the Indiana Supreme Court.

It seems that grandpa Eli was on the juror during the original trial that resulted in the conviction of Frank GREER.  During the appeal, it was alleged that Eli was guilty of misconduct, because before the trial, it was alleged that Eli had stated to a James MILLER, that GREER was guilty, and that if he (Haley) was on the jury, he "would stay until the last dog was hung that he was guilty".  This statement was supposedly given in the presence of Wesley F. METZNER, Eli's brother-in-law.  It was alleged that grandpa HALEY had been biased and that GREER could not get a fair trial.

This trial took place in Jay County, Indiana and involved the act of receiving stolen goods from another state.  In 1925, Greer received stolen clover seed from Van Wert, Ohio and knowing that it was stolen, tried to sell it in Jay County.  He was convicted and sentenced to the Indiana State Prison.  The Supreme Court did not grant his appeal based on his claim that my ancestor was a biased juror.

This sounds like an interesting case to research.  On my next trip to the library in Portland, I am going to see what I can find out from the local newspaper articles.

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