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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 But there's a problem with his argument: Section 4(g) doesn't mention polygraph tests, so his parole couldn't have been revoked based on an impermissible ex post fact application of that section, wrote Judge Mathias.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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