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Justices reduce sentence of man found asleep in office

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Four of the five Indiana Supreme Court justices decided that the man found asleep in the waiting room of a dental office – who had an empty handgun on him – should only be sentenced to 20 years for the crime instead of 40 years.

Staff at a dentist’s office found Glenn Carpenter in their waiting room and called police after they couldn’t wake him. He smelled of alcohol. The police were able to wake him up; Carpenter didn’t know how he got in the dentist’s office. Police found an unloaded handgun, marijuana, cocaine, and a crack pipe on him.

A jury found him guilty of Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon; Carpenter pleaded guilty to the habitual offender count. He appealed his 40-year sentence – 20 years on the felony conviction and 20 years for the habitual offender finding – which a divided Indiana Court of Appeals upheld.

Addressing only his sentence in its decision July 21, the majority decided that based on Carpenter’s criminal history and the fact he pleaded guilty to the habitual offender finding, his sentence should be reduced to 20 years.

The gun Carpenter had on him was unloaded and he never threatened anyone. While he is not a model citizen and has had numerous run-ins with the law, his crimes don’t justify the 40-year sentence, wrote Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard in Glenn Carpenter v. State of Indiana, No. 49S02-1104-CR-198. The justices ordered his sentence be revised to 10 years on the Class B felony and 10 years for the habitual offender conviction.

Justice Brent Dickson dissented because Carpenter’s case was not an “exceptional or rare case justifying appellate intrusion” into a trial court’s sentence.

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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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