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Judges affirm sentence for man who questions constitutionality of Indiana Code

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A man’s criminal actions that resulted in a two-year sentence were not part of a single episode of criminal conduct, and therefore, his claim that his sentence was unconstitutional is without merit.

In Kenneth Akers v. State of Indiana, No. 49A05-1106-CR-313, Kenneth Akers appealed his sentence, following his convictions of battery, resisting law enforcement and possession of paraphernalia, all Class A misdemeanors. The trial court sentenced Akers to one year in prison for each conviction, but ordered the battery and resisting sentences to be served concurrently, and consecutive to the possession sentence, for an aggregate sentence of two years.

Akers raised one question for review: whether Indiana Code 35-50-1-2 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution or Article 1, Section 23 of the Indiana Constitution because the statute limits the imposition of consecutive sentences when someone is convicted of at least one felony, but no such statute exists limiting the imposition of consecutive sentences for those convicted of only misdemeanors.

Akers’ convictions arose from a series of events, beginning when he and another man pushed an elderly man into a ditch. The elderly man’s money was missing after the assault, but Akers wasn’t convicted of attempted robbery. A police officer who saw the men pursued Akers. Akers ran, and when apprehended by police, he had a small bag of marijuana at his feet and rolling papers in his wallet.

The Indiana Court of Appeals held that Akers’ actions do not constitute a single episode of criminal conduct, so he does not have standing to challenge Indiana Code 35-50-1-2, because the statute would not apply to him even if it applied generally to defendants convicted of only misdemeanors. The COA therefore affirmed the trial court.


 

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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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