ILNews

Interstate defendant denied due process in hasty sentencing trip

Back to TopE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.”

 

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

ADVERTISEMENT