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Judges reverse teen’s conspiracy to commit murder conviction

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed Paul Henry Gingerich’s conviction of Class A felony conspiracy to commit murder, finding the Kosciusko juvenile court abused its discretion in denying the then-12-year-old’s request for a continuance of a waiver hearing.

In April 2010, Gingerich and 15-year-old Colt Lundy shot and killed Lundy’s stepfather and then took off for Arizona. Police apprehended them in Illinois. At the time of the murder, Gingerich was a little over 5-feet tall, weighed 80 pounds and was a sixth grader.

At the April 22, 2010, probable cause hearing, the court set a hearing on the state’s motion to waive juvenile jurisdiction for April 29. Gingerich’s attorney sought a continuance to allow time to prepare witnesses, obtain a psychological evaluation of Gingerich, and review exhibits and reports, but the trial court denied the motion for continuance.

At the hearing, Gingerich’s attorney again sought a continuance, which was again denied. A county probation officer testified that there was only one facility that could take a juvenile convicted of homicide. The officer misstated that there is no parole in the juvenile Department of Corrections and other facts pertaining to juvenile law. Gingerich and Lundy were waived into adult court and Gingerich eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of Class A felony conspiracy to commit murder.

The Marion County Public Defender Agency and the Children’s Law Center filed amicus curiae briefs in the case. The MCPDA in its brief argued that a full investigation is a necessary and statutorily required prerequisite to a wavier, and that juveniles in Marion County who face being waved into adult court typically get at least three months to investigate and prepare for the hearing. The CLC also argued that juveniles should have time to prepare for a waiver hearing.

The state claimed, among other things, that Gingerich hasn’t shown that he was prejudiced by the denial of his continuance, and that by pleading guilty, Gingerich “tacitly admit[ted] that he could not have met his statutory burden.”

“We note that Ind. Code § 31-30-3-4 implicates valid liberty interests held by Gingerich. As he notes, Ind. Code § 31-30-1-1 vests ‘exclusive original jurisdiction’ in the juvenile court over a child who is alleged to, before becoming eighteen years of age, commit a delinquent act,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote for the court. “Also, Ind. Code § 31-30-3-4 provides for a ‘full investigation and hearing’ prior to juvenile jurisdiction being waived.

“Thus, at the outset of the filing of the delinquency petition Gingerich enjoyed the panoply of protections associated with being tried in the juvenile system, and he was entitled to a full investigation and hearing prior to the court ordering waiver. Accordingly, Gingerich’s liberty was at stake when the State moved to waive Gingerich into adult court.”

The judges ordered further proceedings on the matter consistent with their opinion, Paul Henry Gingerich v. State of Indiana, 43A05-1101-CR-27.
 

 

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  • Unconstitutional
    Most prosecutors are idiots and seek to convict at any cost without regard to guilt or innocence. Prosecutors lie, manufacture evidence, withhold evidence benefical to defendants even when they know that defendants are innocent, all under protection from lawsuits and prosecution. In effect prosecutors are above the law! WAKE UP AMERICA AND STAND UP AND SPEAK UP FOR JUSTICE

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  1. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  2. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  3. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  4. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  5. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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