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Class A felony sentences not inappropriate under Appellate Rule 7(B)

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Two convicted child molesters will spend more time incarcerated after the Indiana Supreme Court ruled their sentences were not inappropriate under Appellate Rule 7(B).
 
The state’s highest court vacated a pair of decisions by the Indiana Court of Appeals to halve sentences in both Kirk B. Lynch v. State of Indiana, 40S05-1301-CR-23, and Calvin Merida v. State of Indiana, 69S01-1301-CR-24. The justices ruled trial courts’ imposing of a 40–year sentence on Kirk Lynch and a 60-year term on Calvin Merida were appropriate.

After being convicted of attempted child molesting, a Class A felony, Lynch was sentenced to 40 years with five years suspended. Merida pled guilty to two counts of child molesting as Class A felonies. He was given consecutive advisory sentences for an aggregate term of 60 years.

The sentencing range for a Class A felony is 20 to 50 years with the advisory sentence being 30 years.

However, the trial court found the aggravating factors in the Lynch case, including that he was an Internet sexual predator and had a criminal history, outweighed the mitigating factors and therefore justified a sentence in excess of the advisory term. For Merida, the trial court noted his lack of criminal history but drew attention to the length of time his conduct occurred and the victim’s suffering.

On appeal, the COA revised Lynch’s sentence to the minimum term of 20 years and revised Merida’s sentence by ordering them to run concurrently, which reduced the aggregate term to 30 years. It cited Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B), which allows an appellate court to revise a sentence if it deems that sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and the character of the offender.

In a per curiam decisions, the state Supreme Court affirmed the sentences handed down by the trial courts. The justices wrote in Lynch “…our collective judgment is that the sentence imposed by the trial court is not inappropriate under Appellate Rule 7(B), and does not warrant appellate revision.”
 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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