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Judge suspended for 60 days, no pay

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The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended Marion Superior Judge Grant W. Hawkins from the bench for 60 days without pay, though two justices wanted a yearlong penalty while two others wanted a month suspension.

An order came just before 5 p.m. Wednesday in In the matter of the Hon. Grant. W. Hawkins,  No. 49S00-0804-JD-157, ending the almost yearlong disciplinary action that came to light because a wrongfully convicted man sat in prison for nearly two years after DNA evidence cleared him of a rape.

Starting Thursday, the judge who's been presiding over Criminal Division 5 since Janaury 2001 begins his 60-day suspension. He's been temporarily suspended since Nov. 25, but has been earning his state-set $125,647 annual salary.

A three-judge panel and the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications recommended his removal last year, stemming from the April 2008 charges that his lack of court supervision resulted in case delays. The judge's former commissioner, Nancy Broyles, was also charged but resigned last year and has been permanently banned from the bench.

Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard and Justice Frank Sullivan wanted a yearlong suspension without pay based on the serious nature of the case and the recommendation for removal, while Justice Ted Boehm felt a 30-day suspension was appropriate since the trial judge didn't intentionally do anything wrong. Justice Robert D. Rucker concurred with the lesser sentence, and Justice Brent Dickson wrote a paragraph of his own saying the 60-day suspension was an appropriate middleground that balances his fellow justices' disagreement, the removal recommendation, and the 105 days Judge Hawkins had already been off the bench.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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