ILNews

COA cuts sentence for drug convictions

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a defendant's drug convictions, but found the trial court erred in sentencing him. As a result, the appellate court reduced his sentence by 33 years.

In Gary L. Williams Jr. v. State of Indiana, No. 39A04-0708-CR-481, Williams appealed his convictions of and his 73-year sentence for dealing in cocaine, and possession of cocaine and marijuana.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Williams' convictions on two counts of dealing in cocaine as Class A felonies, possession of cocaine as a Class A felony, two counts of possession of cocaine as Class C felonies, and one count of possession of marijuana. Williams was convicted after Indiana State Police set up a meeting for a confidential informant to buy drugs from Williams.

The trial court ordered Williams to serve his sentences on the various counts consecutively. Finding the two incidents that involved Williams selling drugs within one day at the same location didn't constitute an episode of criminal conduct, the appellate court found the trial court didn't err in ordering him to serve consecutive sentences.

However, citing Gregory v. State, 644 N.E.2d 543 (Ind. 1994), and Jones v. State, 807 N.E.2d 58 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004), the Court of Appeals ruled the sentences for each conviction arising from evidence taken after the state began sponsoring the criminal activity - by arranging drug buys from Williams to an informant - must run concurrently. The trial court ordered convictions relating to the two state-arranged drug buys to be served concurrently, but then ordered those sentences to be served consecutive to other cocaine and marijuana convictions from evidence seized under a search warrant.

"While Gregory and Jones did not expressly address this issue, the clear import of those decisions - that the State may not 'pile on' sentences by postponing prosecution in order to gather more evidence - applies equally to convictions arising from evidence gathered as a direct result of the State-sponsored criminal activity," wrote Judge Edward Najam.

As a result, the appellate court revised Williams' sentence and ordered all of his sentences run concurrently for an aggregate term of 40 years.
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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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