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COA affirms $1,380 restitution order for missing CDs, coins

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The Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday that a trial court did not err in letting the state present evidence of a victim’s loss for the first time at a restitution hearing. It affirmed an order that Kenneth Smith pay $1,380 to William Kirkham for missing CDs and coins.

Smith was convicted of Class D felony theft for stealing a radio, guitar, DVDs and a silver coin from Kirkham’s house while he was away. At the restitution hearing, Kirkham said he was also missing nearly 400 CDs and about $100 in cash in the form of silver dollars and half dollars. Smith objected, but the court allowed the testimony. It then determined the loss was $1,380.

The trial court asked if Smith could afford to pay $230 a month toward restitution, and Smith said he was paying $240 a month for home detention. The judge ordered Smith to pay the restitution first and then the court would address the home detention payments.

The COA found the trial court based its restitution order wholly on the acts underlying Smith’s convictions and that Kirkham’s testimony demonstrated his degree of loss attributable to Smith’s crime. Also, restricting evidence of the victim’s actual loss to that which the prosecutor uses to obtain a conviction might limit the amount the victim can recover under Indiana law, Judge Edward Najam pointed out in Kenneth Smith v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1212-CR-1017.

The judges also found the trial court looked into Smith’s ability to pay. Smith did not dispute that he could pay $240 a month for home detention so he could afford $230 for restitution every month.

 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

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