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Judges affirm sentence for man who questions constitutionality of Indiana Code

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A man’s criminal actions that resulted in a two-year sentence were not part of a single episode of criminal conduct, and therefore, his claim that his sentence was unconstitutional is without merit.

In Kenneth Akers v. State of Indiana, No. 49A05-1106-CR-313, Kenneth Akers appealed his sentence, following his convictions of battery, resisting law enforcement and possession of paraphernalia, all Class A misdemeanors. The trial court sentenced Akers to one year in prison for each conviction, but ordered the battery and resisting sentences to be served concurrently, and consecutive to the possession sentence, for an aggregate sentence of two years.

Akers raised one question for review: whether Indiana Code 35-50-1-2 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution or Article 1, Section 23 of the Indiana Constitution because the statute limits the imposition of consecutive sentences when someone is convicted of at least one felony, but no such statute exists limiting the imposition of consecutive sentences for those convicted of only misdemeanors.

Akers’ convictions arose from a series of events, beginning when he and another man pushed an elderly man into a ditch. The elderly man’s money was missing after the assault, but Akers wasn’t convicted of attempted robbery. A police officer who saw the men pursued Akers. Akers ran, and when apprehended by police, he had a small bag of marijuana at his feet and rolling papers in his wallet.

The Indiana Court of Appeals held that Akers’ actions do not constitute a single episode of criminal conduct, so he does not have standing to challenge Indiana Code 35-50-1-2, because the statute would not apply to him even if it applied generally to defendants convicted of only misdemeanors. The COA therefore affirmed the trial court.


 

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  1. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

  2. I have met some highly placed bureaucrats who vehemently disagree, Mr. Smith. This is not your father's time in America. Some ideas are just too politically incorrect too allow spoken, says those who watch over us for the good of their concept of order.

  3. Lets talk about this without forgetting that Lawyers, too, have FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION

  4. Baer filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit on April 30 2015. When will this be decided? How many more appeals does this guy have? Unbelievable this is dragging on like this.

  5. They ruled there is no absolute right to keep a license, whether it be for a lifetime or a short period of time. So with that being said, this state taught me at the age of 15 how to obtain that license. I am actually doing something that I was taught to do, I'm not breaking the law breaking the rules and according to the Interstate Compact the National Interstate Compact...driving while suspended is a minor offense. So, do with that what you will..Indiana sucks when it comes to the driving laws, they really and truly need to reevaluate their priorities and honestly put the good of the community first... I mean, what's more important the pedophile drug dealer or wasting time and money to keep us off the streets?

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