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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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  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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