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Justices: Good-time-credit amendment not retroactive

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The Indiana Supreme Court interpreted a 2010 amendment on credit time earned during placement in community corrections to only apply to those placed on home detention on or after its July 1, 2010, effective date.

Douglas Cottingham sought to receive good-time credit under Indiana Code 35-38-2.6-6 when his home detention under a community-corrections program was revoked and he was ordered to serve time in the Department of Correction. He was placed on home detention before the 2010 amendment took effect.

Before the amendment to section 6, the General Assembly expressly provided that persons placed on home detention in community-corrections programs weren’t entitled to earn good-time credit. The amendment removed language preventing someone from earning that credit.

Justice Frank Sullivan noted in the opinion released Thursday that there is a conflict in the Indiana Court of Appeals on whether the amendment is retroactive. The justices examined the amendment language and held that it only applies to people put on home detention on July 1, 2010, or later.

“By using ‘is placed’ (or by not amending that language as it existed in the prior statute), we think that the Legislature intended for this amendment to apply only to those persons who ‘are placed’ on home detention on or after the amendment’s effective date,” he wrote. “If the Legislature intended for the amendment to apply to persons who had already been placed on home detention, it would have used language to include such persons – language like ‘a person who has been placed’ or even ‘a person who is in community corrections.’"

He pointed out an offender who committed an offense before the statute’s effective date and was placed on home detention after the effective date would be eligible for good-time credit.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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