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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. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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