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Appeals court affirms revoked probation after test shows marijuana

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A man ordered to serve 90 days of a suspended one-year sentence for a conviction of misdemeanor marijuana possession wasn’t denied due process when his probation officer admitted evidence of a positive urinalysis, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

In Andrew Wann v. State of Indiana, 32A01-1303-CR-123, Andrew Wann argued that the toxicology report was improperly admitted hearsay that didn’t meet the “substantial trustworthiness” test established in Reyes v. State, 868 N.E.2d 438, 440 n.1 (Ind. 2007). Wann also argued that the order to serve 90 days of his suspended sentence wasn’t authorized by statute.

Judge L. Mark Bailey wrote that the panel could not conclude from Reyes that, as Wann argued, an affidavit from a testing toxicologist was required to admit the urinalysis. And in any event, Wann had agreed to waive objection to the admissibility of the test results as a term of probation.

The court also rejected Wann’s argument that time he had served on the conviction, including good-time credit, plus time served on probation, was longer than the statutory maximum sentence of one year, and therefore it was outside the court’s discretion to order him to serve 90 days in jail.

“From the date of Wann’s November 10, 2009 sentence to his September 16, 2010 violation, 308 days had elapsed. The State alleged the violation within the probationary period, and subsequently proved the violation. Accordingly, the options of Indiana Code section 35-38-2-3(h) were available to the trial court, including an order for ‘execution of all or part of the sentence that was suspended at the time of initial sentencing.’ The trial court acted within its statutory discretion to order that Wann serve 90 days in jail," Bailey wrote for the panel that also included Judges Cale Bradford and Melissa May.
 

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  • Marijuana penalties too harsh
    58% of the American public believe that marijuana should be legalized. Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. No one has ever died smoking marijuana. In a few years we will all wonder how the legislature could ever have passed such legislation.

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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