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Judges find ex post facto claim waived

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The man who raised a constitutional challenge to the propriety of his conviction of failing to register as a sex offender waived his ex post facto claim when he entered into a plea agreement, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.

In James E. Rogers v. State of Indiana, No. 84A01-1104-CR-148, James Rogers appealed his conviction of and sentence for Class D felony failure to register as a sex offender, and his sentences for Class D felony theft and receiving stolen property. Rogers was convicted of an offense in Wisconsin in 1991 that required him to register as a sex offender there. When he relocated to Indiana in the mid-1990s, he registered as a sex offender. The last time he updated his address with the sheriff’s office was Nov. 4, 2009.

After he was arrested for theft and later released from jail, the sheriff’s department discovered he did not register within the seven-day time period as required under statute. He entered into a plea agreement for the failure to register, theft and receiving stolen property charges in exchange for the dismissal of four other causes. He was sentenced to three years on each count, with the sentences running consecutively.

On appeal, Rogers argued that his failing to register conviction is an improper ex post facto application of sex offender registration requirements in violation of the Indiana Constitution. The appellate court declined to find that an ex post facto constitutional claim is an exception to the general rule that a defendant may not challenge a conviction pursuant to a guilty plea on direct appeal. Rogers entered into his plea agreement with the state and benefited from the agreement. The record is sparse on the circumstances of when he moved to Indiana and why he registered in Indiana at all, but the judges found his circumstances fall into the broader general rule that a person waives potential claims with respect to the propriety of his conviction on direct appeal when he pleads guilty pursuant to a plea agreement.

The COA also concluded that Rogers’ sentence was appropriate, finding the nature of the offenses does not justify a reduced sentence and that the court did not abuse its discretion in deciding that the crimes and Rogers’ remorse weren’t mitigating factors.
 

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  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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