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Justices overturn man's registration requirement

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A Grant Superior judge erred in sentencing a man to register as a sex offender because that requirement wasn't in place at the time he committed his crime, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.

In the opinion released Wednesday, Gary M. Hevner v. State of Indiana, No. 27S02-1001-CR-5, Gary Hevner challenged the part of his sentence that required him to register as a sex offender for committing possession of child pornography as a Class D felony in 2005. This was Hevner's first offense under the statute. At the time he committed the offense, a person convicted for the first time of possessing child pornography wasn't considered a sex offender and wasn't required to register as one. But Hevner's trial began in 2008, after the Indiana Sex Offender Registration Act was amended to require anyone convicted of possession of child pornography to register, regardless of the number of convictions.

He appealed his sentence, claiming the registration requirement violated the ex post facto prohibitions of the federal and state constitutions. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed, but the justices decided the requirement violated only the Indiana Constitution because the United States Supreme Court had recently upheld Alaska's Sex Offender Registration Act didn't violate the ex post facto clause of the U.S. Constitution. Indiana and Alaska have similar acts.

Using an "intent-effects" test, the justices ruled the registration requirement was punitive in effect. The court should have sentenced Hevner under the statute in effect on the date he committed the offense, wrote Justice Robert Rucker.

"As applied to Hevner the Act violates the prohibition on ex post facto laws contained in the Indiana Constitution because it imposes burdens that have the effect of adding punishment beyond that which could have been imposed when the crime was committed," he wrote.

Hevner also challenged the condition of his probation that he can't live within 1,000 feet of a school. The high court noted the record isn't entirely clear that the trial court imposed that restriction; however, the justices concluded that condition isn't an unreasonable condition. The case was remanded for further proceedings.

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  1. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  4. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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