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Teen has 1 adjudication overturned, must still pay restitution

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A teenager adjudicated as delinquent after it was determined he was in a stolen car was able to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse one of his adjudications due to double jeopardy. But, the teen must still pay restitution to the victims of his crimes.

Police Officer Havis Harris spotted what she believed was a reported stolen Honda Accord and followed it into a gas station parking lot. When the car stopped, she saw at least three people “bail out” of the car and run away from the gas station. She radioed for back up, and Officer James Blythe, who was just a block away, set up a perimeter. He saw two males who matched Harris’ description walk by, so he stopped them. Harris watched the gas station’s surveillance video and confirmed the two stopped were involved. One of the teens stopped was C.H.

C.H. was adjudicated for committing what would be Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass and Class B misdemeanor unlawful entry of a motor vehicle if committed by an adult. He was on probation at the time.

The juvenile court ordered he pay the owner of the Honda $500 in restitution and recommended all other probation orders be completed, including paying $500 in restitution to the victim of the C.H.’s previous crime.

C.H. appealed in C.H. v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1310-JV-904. The Court of Appeals rejected his claim that the stop by Blythe violated his federal or statute constitutional rights, noting Blythe had reasonable suspicion to stop him based on Harris’ description of the suspects. The judges also affirmed that he pay restitution. C.H. never raised any objection to the restitution orders when the juvenile court imposed them and, in fact, he affirmatively agreed to the imposition of restitution, Judge Rudolph Pyle III wrote. His attorney said he had reviewed the probation department’s recommendations – which included restitution – and that C.H. was “in agreement with all of them” except two unrelated issues.

But the judges did reverse his adjudication for Class B misdemeanor unlawful entry of a motor vehicle because the state used the same evidence to establish the essential elements of both offenses. They remanded for the court to vacate that adjudication.
 

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  2. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  3. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

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