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Credit-time statute amendment not retroactive

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An amendment to the statute governing credit-time eligibility for people on home detention in criminal corrections programs is not retroactive, therefore, a defendant isn’t entitled to credit time under the amendment, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Wednesday.

Mario Brown was in community corrections in Marion County after pleading guilty to Class C felony operating a motor vehicle after license forfeited for life in 2009. At that time, Indiana Code Section 35-38-2.6-6 explicitly excluded those serving out sentences on home detention from receiving credit time. A 2010 amendment to the statute lifted that restriction.

Brown admitted to violating the rules of his placement in July 2010 and was ordered to serve the balance of his original three-year sentence in the Department of Correction. He received no credit time for this period, which he argued he should based on the amended version of I.C. Section 35-38-2.6-6. He claimed the amendment was retroactive and denying him the credit-time eligibility violates his rights to Equal Protection.

The Court of Appeals judges disagreed with Brown in Mario Brown v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-1008-CR-905, finding the statute in question isn’t remedial in nature. The 2010 amendment didn’t seek to remedy a defect or clarify an ambiguous statute, wrote Judge L. Mark Bailey. He also noted reading the statute retroactively would yield a result which the court presumes the Legislature didn’t intend. The judges doubted that the General Assembly would allow for, essentially, the post-hoc halving of sentences without at least some indication that it was intentionally pursuing such an end.

The Court of Appeals also rejected Brown’s argument that not retroactively applying the statute to him deprives him of Equal Protection. The judges found the state’s avoidance of the administrative burden of recalculating sentences to be a legitimate government interest. The state also has a legitimate interest in protecting the integrity of sentences already imposed, wrote Judge Bailey.
 

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  3. 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.

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  5. 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.

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