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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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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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