ILNews

Indiana Northern District judge dies

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2009
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U.S. District Judge Allen Sharp in the Northern District of Indiana died at his home Friday, ending more than 30 years on the federal bench. He was 77.

A notice of his death was posted on the Northern District of Indiana's Web site Friday.

Appointed to the federal bench Oct. 11, 1973, by President Richard Nixon, Judge Sharp took the bench that following month and served until taking senior status in November 2007. He was the fourth longest-serving active District judge in the country.

During his time on the bench, Judge Sharp served as chief judge of that court from 1981 to 1996, and he presided over jury trials in four different districts and sat periodically with Circuit Courts of Appeals in Chicago, Washington D.C., and New Orleans.

He had been involved in many significant civil and criminal cases, including the desegregation of the Fort Wayne elementary schools, a public display of the Ten Commandments in Elkhart, and the quadruple murder case of Joseph Corcoran in which he overturned the death sentence.

Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Brown County, Indiana, Judge Sharp earned his law degree in 1957 from Indiana University School of Law; he was also awarded an honorary doctor of civil laws later in his career from Indiana State University. Judge Sharp practiced law in Williamsport from 1957 to 1968 before serving on the Indiana Appellate Court - the precursor to the Indiana Court of Appeals - from 1969 until his federal appointment in 1973

Aside from the law, he also served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1957 to 1984, achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel. Judge Sharp is survived by two daughters and three grandchildren.
 
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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

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