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Justices reinstate sex offender’s maximum sentence lowered by COA

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The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated a trial court sentence that imposed maximum consecutive prison terms for a man convicted of two counts of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor.

Michael Chambers was sentenced to two consecutive terms of 20 years in prison for an aggregate 40 years by Monroe Circuit Judge Teresa D. Harper. A divided Indiana Court of Appeals held that the sentence was an outlier in comparison to Walker v. State, 747 N.E.2d 536 (Ind. 2001), and Harris v. State, 897 N.E.2d 927, 930 (Ind. 2008), and ordered Chambers’ sentences be served concurrently, reducing the term to an aggregate 20 years in prison.

But justices sided with the dissenter on the COA panel who wrote that Chambers’ criminal history was much more significant than those of the defendants in the cited cases, and therefore the sentence was not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and Chambers’ character.

"Our collective judgment is that the sentence imposed by the trial court in this case is not inappropriate under Appellate Rule 7(B) and does not warrant appellate revision," read the three-page per curiam opinion in Michael Chambers v. State of Indiana, 53S01-1307-CR-459. "Accordingly, we grant transfer, affirm the sentence imposed by the trial court, and summarily affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals in all other respects."

The opinion was joined by all justices. Justice Robert Rucker concurred in the result without a separate opinion.
 

 

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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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