ILNews

Court of Appeals finds 2006 statute does apply to 2001 violation

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The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s ex post facto argument and affirmed a trial court’s decision to convict him of committing a sex offender residency offense.  

Anthony Mark Sewell was convicted of child molesting as a Class B felony in 2001. After his release in 2007, he was required to register his address with law enforcement. When he moved to a new address in 2011, he was in violation of the state statute that prohibits sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a church that has a school, day-care or youth program center.

After the state charged him with one count of residing within 1,000 feet of a youth program center, the trial court found Sewell guilty and sentenced him to 1 ½  years in the Department of Correction with six months suspended to probation.

In his appeal, Sewell argued that applying the statute to him violated the ex post facto prohibition in state and federal constitution. This forbids Congress and the states from imposing a punishment for an act that was not punishable at the time it was committed.

He stated his conviction for child molesting was entered in 2001 for acts that took place in 2000. The application of the statute did not take effect until 2006.

Sewell relied heavily on the Indiana Supreme Court’s opinion in State v. Pollard, 908 N.E.2d 1145 (Ind. 2009). He contended that the decision in Pollard stands for the proposition that anyone convicted of an offense listed in Indiana Code 35-42-4-11 before July 1, 2006, is not subject to its provisions.

The COA found in Anthony Mark Sewell v. State, 73A01-1112-CR-609, that  Pollard did not apply because Sewell did not reside or own property within 1,000 feet of the church when he was convicted of child molesting. The court concluded that because Sewell’s residency decision occurred after the enactment of the statute, Sewell’s prosecution does not violate state or federal ex post facto provisions.

 

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  • ex post facto law
    The fact that Sewell was required to register at all is a violation of ex post facto law., since there was no registration requirement when he commited his offense. I think the COA needs to look back and see how often they contadict themselves and coming to two different conclusions on two different primarily similar case.
  • Constitution
    The courts are making a mockery of American's Constitutional Rights!

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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