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[ATG] Attorney General’s Office trains prosecutors by videoconference
Start Date: 7/10/2012Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 7/10/2012
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS – Through a live videoconference, 50 prosecutors in Mexico are learning about the U.S. justice system through lectures presented this week from Indianapolis by attorneys in the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, joined by Mexican Consul General Juan M. Solana, was the opening speaker at the conference at the Indiana Government Center South, and six deputy attorneys general are lecturers in the three-day distance-learning training, which is transmitted live to Mexican prosecutors watching by videoconference from Mexico. 


Through a program sponsored by the Alliance Partnership of the Conference of Western Attorneys General or CWAG and funded by a grant from the U.S. State Department, government attorneys from the State of Indiana are helping train their Mexican counterparts on the intricacies of the U.S. trial system.


Under a 2008 amendment to the Mexican Constitution, Mexico is transitioning to a new system of justice, replacing the mixed inquisitorial and written system inherited from the colonial Spanish to an oral adversarial system more similar to that in U.S. courts. This has necessitated an ongoing retraining of legal professionals in Mexico – including prosecutors, judges and investigators – on the format and procedures of oral trials.


“Law enforcement in Mexico has the daunting challenge of confronting the wave of violence from organized drug cartels while restoring trust in Mexico’s criminal justice system,” Zoeller said. “Adopting oral trials involves a fundamental transformation of Mexico’s system and is a necessary step toward creating a framework where the guilty are held accountable and the rights of the accused are protected and justice is done,” Zoeller said.


In 2010, Zoeller and his counterpart from the Mexican state of Baja California, Attorney General Rommel Moreno Manjarrez, signed an agreement where Indiana would assist in retraining sessions for Mexican prosecutors, organized by CWAG and funded through a federal grant, not through state tax dollars. At the first such “Rule of Law” training in September 2010, held at ICGS and at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, 40 prosecutors and judges and 40 investigators from Mexico were trained, and several state attorneys general from Mexico attended.


In a continuation of that effort, deputy attorneys general from Zoeller’s office this week are making presentations on camera at the Indiana Government Center South that are carried live by two-way video link to 50 prosecutors in Ensenada, Mexico.

Simultaneous Spanish-English translation is provided by CWAG, allowing attendees to ask questions of the Indiana lawyers.  Topics include an overview of oral trials, case theory, opening statements, introduction of evidence, direct and cross examination of witnesses, closing arguments and prosecutorial ethics. Videoconference trainings continue through Thursday.


CWAG sponsored the training and oversees the videoconferencing, meaning the Attorney General’s staff remains in Indianapolis and no travel expenses are incurred. 


Zoeller also thanked Consul General Juan Solana of the Mexican Consulate in Indianapolis, who spoke at the videoconference.


In addition to Zoeller’s opening remarks today, the prosecutors watching from Mexico will hear presentations from:

  • Deputy Attorney General Maureen Devlin of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
  • Deputy Attorney General Patricia Orloff Erdmann, chief counsel of the Litigation Division
  • Deputy Attorney General Steve Hunt of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
  • Deputy Attorney General Tim Junk, interim section chief of Environmental Litigation
  • Deputy Attorney General Ian McLean of the Criminal Appeals Division
  • Deputy Attorney General Matthew Whitmire, prosecution section chief of the Appeals Division.


Other presenters include Clark County Superior Court Judge Jerry Jacobi and Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Eric Schmadeke.



NOTE: Attached is a photograph of Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, center, and Rommel Moreno Majarrez, Attorney General of the Mexican state of Baja California, left, signing an agreement of understanding to provide training exchange programs on March 3, 2010.


Contact Information:
Name: Bryan Corbin
Phone: 317.233.3970
Attachments For This Entry:
    > Agreement Signing: AG Greg Zoeller and AG Rommel Moreno Manjarrez
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Education
  • Government
  • Residents
  • Agency Name
    Attorney General

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