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Justices accept one criminal case

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The Indiana Supreme Court has taken an Elkhart County appeal challenging three felony child molesting convictions and an 80-year aggregate sentence.

Justices denied four appeals at a private conference last week. The court granted one case, Andres Sanchez v. State of Indiana, No. 20A04-0912-CR-720, that the Court of Appeals ruled on in a memorandum opinion in mid-June. The appellate panel affirmed the Elkhart Superior judge’s decision on three Class A felony child molesting counts and the 80-year sentence. Issues raised on appeal were whether the prosecutor’s redirect questions to the victims’ mother and closing argument comments constituted fundamental error, whether the evidence was sufficient to support one of the child molesting counts, and whether the aggregate sentence was appropriate.

The panel found that Sanchez didn’t demonstrate that the harm or potential harm done by the prosecutor’s questions or comments was substantial enough to fall within the “extremely narrow exception” of fundamental error.

While the panel affirmed the evidence sufficiency and sentence, Judge James Kirsch concurred with his colleagues on all but the 80-year sentence review, finding the penalty was inappropriate and should be vacated. His rationale was that Sanchez doesn’t appear to be the type of “worst offender” warranting a higher sentence because the facts demonstrate that jurors could have easily viewed the man’s conduct as a lesser felony of fondling.
 

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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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