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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. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

  2. Such is not uncommon on law school startups. Students and faculty should tap Bruce Green, city attorney of Lufkin, Texas. He led a group of studnets and faculty and sued the ABA as a law student. He knows the ropes, has advised other law school startups. Very astute and principled attorney of unpopular clients, at least in his past, before Lufkin tapped him to run their show.

  3. Not that having the appellate records on Odyssey won't be welcome or useful, but I would rather they first bring in the stray counties that aren't yet connected on the trial court level.

  4. Aristotle said 350 bc: "The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of an modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.

  5. Oh yes, lifetime tenure. The Founders gave that to the federal judges .... at that time no federal district courts existed .... so we are talking the Supreme Court justices only in context ....so that they could rule against traditional marriage and for the other pet projects of the sixties generation. Right. Hmmmm, but I must admit, there is something from that time frame that seems to recommend itself in this context ..... on yes, from a document the Founders penned in 1776: " He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

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