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2 Supreme Court arguments Thursday

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The Indiana Supreme Court will hear two arguments Thursday, including a death penalty appeal by a man whose appeal has already once been denied by the justices.

At 9 a.m., the high court will hear arguments in Tommy R. Pruitt v. State of Indiana, No. 15S00-0512-PD-617, in which Tommy Pruitt was convicted of murder and other charges in Dearborn Circuit Court for killing Morgan County Deputy Sheriff Daniel Starnes. The Dearborn Circuit Court denied his petition for post-conviction relief. Pruitt appealed the denial, arguing he is mentally retarded and had ineffective assistance of his counsel, so he should not be sentenced to death.

Pruitt previously appealed his sentence, in which the majority of Supreme Court affirmed his conviction and sentence in September 2005. Justice Robert Rucker dissented, believing Pruitt met his burden to prove he is mentally retarded and recommended his sentence be revised to a term of years.

In State of Indiana v. Adam L. Manuwal, No. 50S05-0805-CR-269, charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated under Indiana Code Sections 9-30-5-1 and 2 - operating a vehicle while intoxicated - were dismissed against Adam Manuwal by the Marshall Superior Court. Manuwal was arrested and charged after driving an all-terrain vehicle on private property. The Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal after concluding he was improperly charged under the operating while intoxicated statutes and the state could have filed charges pursuant to I.C. Section 14-16-1-23 - operation of an off-road vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage.

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  1. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  2. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  3. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  4. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  5. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

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