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Justices disapprove of consideration of community outrage when reviewing sentence

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The Indiana Supreme Court upheld a man’s 53-year sentence for battery and neglect of dependent convictions, but disagreed with the Court of Appeals’ reasoning for affirming the sentence.

Valentin Escobedo sought a sentence review under Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B). The justices took the case, Valentin Escobedo v. State of Indiana, 71S03-1306-CR-455, to address a single point.

“In rejecting the defendant's request for appellate sentence revision, the Court of Appeals summarized its analysis as follows: ‘In other words, the maximum sentence here can be justified as a deontological response giving voice to a community's outrage, based on the facts and circumstances of the crime,’” Chief Justice Brent Dickson wrote for the court in the two-page decision. “We disagree and disapprove of consideration of a community's outrage in the determination or review of a criminal sentence. Notwithstanding this reference, however, we agree with the ultimate conclusion of the Court of Appeals that the sentence imposed by the trial court is appropriate and should be affirmed.”



 

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