ILNews

COA reverses predator's lifetime registration

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2007
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The Court of Appeals upheld a defendant's convictions and sentence for multiple sexual offenses but reversed the trial court's determination he is a sexually violent predator requiring lifetime registration, citing the statute that was in place during the time the crime happened should dictate the defendant's predator status.

In Anthony Thompson v. State of Indiana, 03A01-0610-CR-430, Thompson appealed his convictions and sentence of 63 years for sexual offenses against the victim, as well as his status as a lifetime sexually violent predator.

Thompson argued prosecutorial misconduct happened during his trial when the prosecutor told the court information beyond what the pre-sentence report stated. The prosecutor said Thompson attempted to set his own family's home on fire, but the attempted arson actually happened to the three cars parked in the driveway. When discussing Thompson's 2002 arson charge, the prosecutor said he set fire to the home in which he was living. Thompson claimed there was nothing showing that incident was anything more than negligence.

These statements by the prosecutor happened during arguments and were not presented as evidence, so they could not influence the jury, wrote Senior Judge Patrick Sullivan in the opinion. The court concluded there is no basis for reversal of Thompson's sentence based on the prosecutor's comments.

The court also found his sentences to be appropriate given the nature of the offense and Thompson's character. He bound, abducted, and sexually assaulted the 15-year-old sister of his girlfriend and threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

The appeals court did reverse the trial court's determination that Thompson is a sexually violent predator who is required to be registered for life. Thompson committed the crimes in February 2005 but was not sentenced until September 2006. The Indiana General Assembly amended the statute effective July 1, 2006, and the court concluded the new law requiring lifetime registration could not be applied to Thompson.

Thompson was appropriately determined to be a sexually violent predator under the previous statute, Indiana Code 5-2-12-13, which would require him to register for an indefinite period and allow for a board of experts to determine if a person could no longer be considered a sexually violent predator. However, the trial court followed the new statute 11-8-8-19, requiring he register for life.

The court reversed the sexually violent predator determination requiring him to register for life because the requirement runs "afoul of ex post facto considerations," Senior Judge Sullivan wrote.

The court remanded with instructions to amend the registration requirement to be for an indefinite period subject to the right of Thompson to seek a determination in the future that he is no longer a sexually violent predator.
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  1. "So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)" Well, you know, we're just following in the footsteps of our founders who raped women, raped slaves, raped children, maimed immigrants, sold children, stole property, broke promises, broke apart families, killed natives... You know, good God fearing down home Christian folk! :/

  2. Who gives a rats behind about all the fluffy ranking nonsense. What students having to pay off debt need to know is that all schools aren't created equal and students from many schools don't have a snowball's chance of getting a decent paying job straight out of law school. Their lowly ranked lawschool won't tell them that though. When schools start honestly (accurately) reporting *those numbers, things will get interesting real quick, and the looks on student's faces will be priceless!

  3. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  4. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  5. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

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