Judges differ in stipulation matter

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A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed on whether a defendant pleaded guilty to the enhancement of his auto theft conviction based on his previous conviction for a similar crime.

In Emmanuel Stringer v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0806-CR-536, Judge Nancy Vaidik dissented from the majority's affirmation of Emmanuel Stringer's convictions of auto theft and operating never having received a license. Judges Patricia Riley and Carr Darden found Stringer effectively pleaded guilty to an enhancement of auto theft as a Class C felony after he stipulated the prior conviction. The state had introduced a certified copy of prior auto theft and receiving stolen parts convictions of Stringer's. His defense counsel declined to object because there was no basis for objecting to the testimony. Stringer was sentenced to 6-years executed on the auto theft as a Class C felony conviction and 60 days on the operating a vehicle never having received a license conviction.

Stringer appealed, arguing the trial court didn't properly advise him of the rights he was waiving. Citing Vanzandt v. State, 730 N.E.2d 721, 725 (Ind. Ct. App. 2000), the majority ruled Stringer effectively pleaded guilty to the enhancement of auto theft to a Class C felony after his defense attorney stipulated to the prior conviction. Since he pleaded guilty, Stringer's challenge of the knowing and voluntary nature of his plea can't be made by direct appeal, but must be done through a petition for post-conviction relief, wrote Judge Riley.

In her dissent, Judge Vaidik wrote she believed Stringer stipulated to the admission of the certified copy of his prior conviction for auto theft and based on that, the trial court found him guilty of the enhancement. She would affirm the trial court, finding Stringer properly brought this direct appeal.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.