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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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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