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. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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