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COA: Judge abused discretion by revoking probation

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A Perry County trial court abused its discretion in revoking a man’s probation based solely on being charged with a new offense, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

Lucas Jackson was on probation in Indiana when he moved to Kentucky and had his probation transferred there. A condition of his probation stated that he “shall not commit any act(s) which would be a crime during the period of the probation.”

The state alleged Jackson violated his probation when he was indicted in Kentucky on charges of sexual abuse involving a 12-year-old victim. The indictment was the only evidence introduced during a hearing on the probation violation. His probation officer testified the grand jury indictment constituted a violation of Jackson’s probation. Perry Circuit Judge Mary Lucille Goffinet concluded Jackson violated his probation and at another hearing, revoked it and ordered Jackson serve his previously suspended sentence.

The Court of Appeals reversed because his probation was revoked based solely on the charges in Kentucky being filed against him. The state has to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that Jackson committed the offense, which it did not do in this case, the judges held in Lucas H. Jackson v. State of Indiana, 62A04-1311-CR-563.
 

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  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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