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Justices affirm life without parole for murderer

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The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed in all respects the life without parole sentence imposed on a man sentenced for murder.

Justice Loretta Rush wrote a unanimous opinion that rejected Knapp’s claims that crime scene photos and expert witness testimony was improperly admitted and that his sentence wasn’t supported by evidence or was inappropriate in light of his character and the nature of his offense.

In Randy L. Knapp v. State of Indiana, 28S00-1305-LW-327, Rush wrote that Knapp and his de facto stepson Jeffrey Sims were meth addicts and that when Sims took his own life, Knapp blamed Stacey Lawson, Sims’ former girlfriend who had broken up with him.   
 
Knapp was arrested after Lawson’s body was found in a cemetery in Newark. The evidence trail against Knapp included phone messages saying he was “raged and crazed,” and was planning to meet Lawson and “I might beat her (expletive) brains out” and blame it on the meth.

Lawson died of massive head injuries.

“(O)ur collective judgment is that LWOP is not inappropriate in light of the nature of Defendant’s offense or his character as an offender,” Rush wrote for the court, calling his actions “calculated, premeditated and brutal.”

Knapp also has a criminal history dating to 1985, including convictions for drug and alcohol offenses, intimidation and battery causing bodily injury.

“And while we acknowledge Defendant’s genuine grief over Sims’ death, we find it minimally mitigating, because it appears to have been based at least in part on anger at being cut off from Sims’ finances,” Rush wrote. “He could have directed his indignation towards methamphetamine and the drug culture that helped bring about Sims’ death and Defendant’s own probation, but he directed it instead towards exacting brutal revenge.”

 

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  1. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  3. Don't believe me, listen to Pacino: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6bC9w9cH-M

  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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