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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. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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