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COA finds court made several errors in sentencing

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A trial court erred in sentencing a man who was on probation for one offense when he committed another, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

In Keith D. Jackson v. State of Indiana, No. 20A03-1105-CR-222, Keith Jackson pleaded guilty in 2004 to Class B felony robbery using a deadly weapon. He was released from the Indiana Department of Correction in 2009.

Later that year, the state charged Jackson with unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon under cause number 063. The probation department filed a petition for violation of probation under cause number 196, the offense for which he was sentenced in 2004. That petition recommended Jackson serve the balance of his previously suspended four-year sentence in the DOC.   

On January 11, 2010, Jackson and the state filed a plea agreement with the trial court in cause number 063. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Jackson pleaded guilty to the firearm charge and admitted the probation violation in cause number 196. In exchange, the state agreed to the following: 12 years incarceration with six of those 12 years suspended in cause number 063; two years served (as one with good-time credit) in cause number 196; discharged from probation in cause number 196, case closed; and probation to calculate credit time in cause number 063.

At a hearing, the trial court accepted the plea agreement and agreed to be bound by its terms. But the trial court eventually sentenced him to serve his previously suspended four-year sentence.

The COA held that the express terms of the plea agreement indicated that Jackson should receive a two-year executed sentence, rather than the four-year suspended sentence originally imposed in cause 196. After applying the time credit, the trial court was obligated to discharge Jackson from probation in cause 196. The COA found the trial court erred by imposing the suspended sentence of four years contrary to the accepted plea agreement, and therefore reversed and remanded to the trial court to resentence Jackson in accordance with the plea agreement.

The appellate panel also found that the trial court abused its discretion in ordering Jackson to pay public defender fees and perform community service.

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  1. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  2. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  3. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  4. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  5. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

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