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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. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

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