ILNews

Court: Blakely not retroactive for PCR 2 belated appeals

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The Indiana Supreme Court today added fuel to the fiery question of how retroactive a landmark 2004 ruling is from the Supreme Court of the United States.

Justices unanimously agreed in four cases - three of which were combined into oral arguments in March - and decided that belated appeals of sentences entered before a new constitutional rule goes into effect are not governed by that new rule.

While Post Conviction Rule 2 permits belated appeals of criminal convictions and sentences under some circumstances, it doesn't under Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004).

All authored by Justice Theodore Boehm, the decisions came down in Warren Gutermuth v. State of Indiana, 10S01-0608-CR-306; David Boyle v. State of Indiana, 49S04-0706-CR-243; David L. Moshenek v. State of Indiana, 42S04-0706-PC-244; and Bryant T. Rogers v. State of Indiana, 71S03-0706-CR-242

The Rogers ruling was the only one not heard during the combined argument. Another related case, Curtis Medina v. State, was part of the combined arguments in March. It had not yet been decided at Indiana Lawyer deadline today.

In today's Gutermuth decision, Justice Boehm wrote, "A new rule that creates an opportunity for error that did not exist under prior law inevitably creates a class of incarcerated defendants who, if the new rule had been in place, would have a claim for appellate relief. Drawing the line at those who are in the normal direct appeal process is no less arbitrary than drawing it to exclude those whose convictions predated the new rule."

"But post-Blakely belated appeals are not passengers on later cars in the train; they are efforts to get on the train after it has left the station," he continued. "In sum, we conclude that Blakely is not retroactive for Post-Conviction Rule 2 belated appeals because such appeals are neither 'pending on direct review' nor 'not yet final'... ."

The Moshenek ruling holds that a trial court's ruling on a petition for permission to seek relief under PCR 2 should be affirmed unless it was based on error of law or a clearly erroneous factual determination. Moreover, the court holds that if a trial court doesn't advise a defendant of the right to appeal the sentence in an "open plea," that may well suffice to meet the lack of fault requirement under PCR 2 depending on other evidence.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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