7th Circuit Court of Appeals

7th Circuit: cousins conspired to sell heroin; another gets new trial

March 9, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said two cousins conspired to distribute heroin, despite the claim from the defendants they were running separate heroin businesses.
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Judge’s sentencing process does not violate due process

March 9, 2016
Scott Roberts
The United States 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a judge’s process to sentence a man who pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine did not violate the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause, and may even be a process to be emulated by other judges in the future.
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State appealing ruling in Syrian refugee lawsuit

March 8, 2016
IL Staff
The state of Indiana officially filed notice Tuesday that it intends to appeal the ruling by a federal judge last month that blocked Gov. Mike Pence’s order barring state agencies from helping Syrian refugees resettle in Indiana.
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Female judges recognized for women’s history month

March 7, 2016
IL Staff
The United States Court System is celebrating Women’s History Month with a series of videos on women in the federal courts throughout March, including 7th Circuit Court Judge Ann Claire Williams.
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Man can’t appeal piracy conviction

March 4, 2016
Scott Roberts
A man who pleaded guilty to piracy for his role in boarding a ship off the coast of Somalia in 2009 was denied a writ of habeas corpus because he waived that right when he pleaded to his crime.
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7th Circuit rejects group's I-69 challenges

March 4, 2016
Scott Olson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a federal judge’s ruling granting a motion to dismiss some charges and grant summary judgment on others to the United States Department of Transportation after a group opposing I-69 construction in southern Indiana, Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads, filed a lawsuit.
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Court denies summary judgment in excessive force case

March 2, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said there was enough evidence against two officers accused of excessive force while arresting a Hammond man to create material dispute and therefore reversed summary judgment for the officers. The case was remanded to District Court for further proceedings.
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7th Circuit: Developer's appeal is frivolous

March 1, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a man’s claim that the National Bank of Indianapolis covered up unauthorized transfers is frivolous and said the bank can pursue sanctions against the man because of it.
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14th Amendment rights not violated by voice test

February 25, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found a man’s 14th Amendment rights were not violated when he was asked to take a voice stress test as part of an administrative investigation into possible wrongdoing as a police officer.
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7th Circuit upholds convictions, orders resentencing

February 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a man’s convictions for armed bank robbery, brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence and possession of a firearm after a felony conviction but vacated his sentence due to the district court’s erroneous application of two different sentencing enhancements.
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7th Circuit remands disability case over ALJ's findings

February 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The United States 7th Circuit Court of Appeals remanded a case to the Social Security Administration after finding the administrative law judge’s credibility analysis was flawed.
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7th Circuit dismisses appeal due to waiver

February 22, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a man’s  appeal of his 21-month sentence and three years of supervised release because he waived his right to appeal in district court. Circuit Judge David Hamilton said the court didn’t see any reason to overlook the waiver.
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7th Circuit reverses, remands motion to suppress evidence

February 19, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a motion to suppress evidence after police found heroin in a man’s car and remanded the case to district court because the police had no probable cause to pull over the car in the first place.
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Majority finds no violation of deceased inmate's 8th Amendment rights

February 18, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for a correctional medical services provider in a lawsuit alleging the company violated an inmate’s Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and unusual punishment.
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Court affirms murder, accessory convictions

February 18, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Court of Appeals affirmed charges of first-degree murder and accessory after the fact to the murder against two federal prison inmates after each appealed the sufficiency of the evidence underlying their convictions.
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No demand futility in Biglari transactions

February 17, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a decision that a company did not commit demand futility during three transactions in 2013.
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7th Circuit disagrees with ALJ that woman is able to work

February 9, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
In vacating the denial of an application for Social Security disability benefits, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals admonished the administrative law judge for giving more weight to the opinion of the non-examining physician than to the diagnosis of the doctors who have been treating the applicant.
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Hoosier’s quest to reach public road ends at 7th Circuit

February 9, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The owner of a piece of southern Indiana property who could not reach his land because neighbors would not permit him to drive across their properties has lost his attempt to get to a main road.
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7th Circuit: Plea agreement forecloses sentence appeal

February 5, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A man who pleaded guilty in federal court to drug charges is unable to challenge his sentence on appeal based on this plea agreement, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Plaintiff failed to prove injury caused by crane lessor

February 4, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A man severely injured at work by a crane failed to prove that a company breached a duty to inspect a certain part of a crane before delivering it to the renter for use, and that the alleged breach was the proximate cause of the injury, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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Federal court rejects convicted financier's sentence appeal

February 4, 2016
 Associated Press
A federal appeals court has rejected a former Indianapolis businessman's bid to shorten his 50-year sentence for defrauding investors of $200 million.
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7th Circuit finds cop’s sentence ‘light,’ orders resentencing

January 28, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A Putnam County police officer convicted of purposefully seriously injuring two people while arresting them will be resentenced after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found his 14-month sentence to be “light” in comparison to similar cases.
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Selby, Ong nominated for federal bench

January 27, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Even before a confirmation hearing has been gaveled to order or a floor vote scheduled, one nominee to an Indiana vacancy on the federal bench is facing opposition as a home state senator renews his call for a nominating commission.
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7th Circuit upholds convictions in attempted post office robbery

January 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A videotaped interview brought to light mid-trial and the suppressed personnel record of a detective did not constitute violations under Brady v. Maryland, warranting a new trial for a man convicted of aiding and abetting firearm use during the attempted robbery of a Fort Wayne post office in 2012.
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7th Circuit affirms denial of disability benefits

January 14, 2016
Dave Stafford
A worker with myriad health complaints failed to persuade the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a district court’s decision denying him long-term Social Security disability benefits.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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