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Judges uphold juvenile's adjudication

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the acceptance of a minor’s plea agreement that was not signed by either of his parents because the signature of the minor and his attorney on the plea agreement satisfied statutory requirements.

In D.E. v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-1103-JV-319, D.E. attempted to rob a person – who turned out to be a police detective – with a rifle.  D.E. was caught and faced several charges, but decided to accept the plea agreement from the state in which he would admit to committing what would be criminal recklessness and dangerous possession of a firearm in exchange for the other charges being dropped. After a two-day continuance to allow D.E. and his parents time to consider the plea agreement, D.E. and his attorney signed it, but D.E.’s parents did not. D.E. was sentenced to placement in the Department of Correction until he turned 21 or until he completed all required programs.

D.E. argued that his parents’ rights were thwarted by Indiana Code 31-32-5-1, which allowed D.E.’s attorney to waive the teen’s right to a fact-finding adjudication. But the appellate court disagreed, finding his parents had ample time to consider the agreement and attended the hearings. Both parents also said they understood the implications of the waivers in the plea agreement.

“D.E. has not demonstrated the waivers in his plea agreement did not comport with Ind. Code § 31-32-5-1. It is undisputed that D.E. and his counsel signed the plea agreement, which is sufficient to satisfy the statute. D.E. has not alleged he involuntarily or unknowingly entered into the agreement. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s acceptance of D.E.’s plea agreement,” wrote Judge Melissa May.

The judges also upheld the disposition placing D.E. in a juvenile correctional facility in the DOC instead of a less restrictive placement. The trial court found previous attempts to rehabilitate D.E. were unsuccessful and D.E. was on probation at the time he attempted to rob the detective. He also violated his probation by testing positive for marijuana and had been suspended or expelled from multiple schools.
 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

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