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COA: Parole revocation not unconstitutional

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the decision to revoke a defendant's parole because he refused to take a polygraph test wasn't based on an impermissible ex post facto application of state statute.

In Charles Receveur v. Edwin Buss, et al., No. 33A04-0907-CV-394, Charles Receveur filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus claiming he was being illegally detained and that he should be released from incarceration because his parole had been unlawfully revoked. He claimed his parole revocation was based on a constitutionally impermissible ex post facto law.

Receveur was sent to prison in 1993 and was released on parole in 2008. He signed and initialed a document on parole stipulations for sex offenders. One of the conditions required him to participate in periodic polygraph testing, but Receveur never took one. As a result of his failure to comply with parole stipulations, he was re-incarcerated and assessed the balance of his sentence.

The trial court twice denied Receveur's request for release.

Receveur should have filed a petition for post-conviction relief instead of a writ of habeas corpus, the Court of Appeals noted. Receveur didn't claim he was entitled to be released because his sentence fully expired, but that his parole was improperly revoked. As such, his petition should have been treated as one for post-conviction relief, wrote Judge Paul Mathias.

"But regardless of how his petition was styled, we agree with the trial court that the underlying ex post facto claim in Receveur's petition is meritless," he noted.

Receveur claimed the parole stipulations he signed are authorized or required by Indiana Code Section 11-13-3-4(g), which was passed after Receveur had committed his crimes and been convicted. But there's a problem with his argument: Section 4(g) doesn't mention polygraph tests, so his parole couldn't have been revoked based on an impermissible ex post fact application of that section, wrote Judge Mathias.

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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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