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Interstate defendant denied due process in hasty sentencing trip

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A Kentucky inmate brought to an Indiana court for sentencing on four burglary counts to which he pleaded guilty was deprived due process when his new attorney was given only minutes to prepare, the Court of Appeals ruled.

The judges remanded Nathan Carl Gilbert v. State of Indiana, 10A05-1204-CR-220, for resentencing but declined to dismiss the charges that Gilbert argued were voided under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers’ “anti-shuffling” provision. That provision requires charges be dropped if an inmate is transported to another state but a trial isn’t held before the inmate is returned to his original place of imprisonment.

Gilbert had been scheduled for sentencing in Clark Circuit Court in February 2012 and was brought to Indiana but returned to Kentucky before his sentencing hearing.

In deciding an issue of first impression, the court cited case law from states including Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Michigan, essentially ruling that a sentencing hearing was not a trial.

“We adopt the reasoning followed by a majority of state and federal jurisdictions and hold Gilbert was no longer subject to an ‘untried indictment’ because he had pled guilty,” Judge Melissa May wrote for the court. “As the only matter left for the trial court to decide was Gilbert’s sentence, the IAD’s anti-shuffling provision was not violated when Gilbert was returned to Kentucky after his guilty plea but before sentencing.”

The court did, however, find error when the court ultimately allowed Gilbert’s sentencing hearing to proceed despite the fact that his attorney was on vacation during the 48-hour window when he was transported across state lines. Another defender was called, objected to having only a few minutes to prepare, and unsuccessfully asked the court for a continuance.

“Because Gilbert’s stay in Indiana was so short, his due process rights were violated because he did not have enough time to prepare for his sentencing hearing or to properly examine his pre-sentence investigation report. Therefore, we remand to the trial court for resentencing.”

 

 

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