ILNews

Appellate courts may consider credit time status

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Indiana appellate courts can take into account the potential consequences of an offender’s status as a credit restricted felon when reviewing a sentence, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

Michael Sharp appealed his convictions and sentence for one count of Class A felony child molesting and one count as a Class C felony. He was sentenced to 40 years, but because he was assigned to class IV for purposes of credit time, his minimum possible sentence would be a little more than 34 years.

In Michael Sharp v. State of Indiana,  12S02-1109-CR-544, the justices only focused on Sharp’s argument that the Indiana Court of Appeals should have considered his credit restricted felon status when evaluating his request for appellate sentence review under Indiana Appellate Rule 7. The Court of Appeals panel said it wouldn’t take into account a person’s credit restricted felon status because “credit time is set by the legislature and is not a discretionary tool used by the trial court judge.”

The Supreme Court disagreed on this point, holding that credit time status may be considered by an appellate court exercising its review and revise authority.

Chief Justice Brent Dickson wrote that Appellate Rule 7(B) authorizes appellate courts to review and revise the totality of penal consequences ordered by the trial court to determine its appropriateness. “Accordingly, evaluation of a defendant's sentence may include consideration of the defendant's credit time status because this penal consequence was within the contemplation of the trial court when it was determining the defendant's sentence,” he wrote.

The justices found that even considering his assigned credit time status, Sharp’s sentence is not inappropriate because he was in a position of trust with his victim and evidence at trial demonstrated that Sharp committed the offenses multiple times over a period of years.

 

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  1. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

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  3. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  4. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  5. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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