Justices rule on residency-restriction law

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The Indiana Supreme Court says the three-year-old state law restricting sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of where children congregate constitutes an unconstitutional form of retroactive punishment. However, the sex offender who won the appeal has been dead since September 2008.

Rather than procedurally dismissing the case as moot, justices granted transfer with an opinion in State of Indiana v. Anthony W. Pollard,  No. 05S02-0906-CR-305, a Blackford County case that has been sitting motionless on the justices' docket since attorneys asked for transfer in August 2008, about a month before Pollard died of cancer.

More than a year ago, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of Blackford Superior Judge John W. Forcum, who'd dismissed a 2007 felony sex offender residency charge against Pollard that related to his sex-offense conviction in 1997. At the time of the conviction, Pollard was living with his wife at a home within 1,000 feet of a school for about 10 years. State law changed in 2006, however, and Indiana Code section 35-42-4-11 made it a crime to live within that distance from any school, park, youth center, or place where children congregate.

After the judge's dismissal of the residency charge, the state argued on appeal that the trial court erred when it found the state statute, as applied to Pollard, violated Article 1, Section 24 of the Indiana Constitution. The Court of Appeals in May 2008 affirmed that ruling, and now the justices have agreed with that decision but for different reasons.

Relying on its most recent decisions from earlier this year in another sex-offender restriction case, Wallace v. State, 905 N.E. 2d 371, 378, (Ind. 2009), the justices applied an "intent-effects" test to evaluate ex post facto claims under the Indiana Constitution. The statute is ambiguous about whether the state legislature intended to impose punishment, but several aspects of the law are considered punitive by U.S. Supreme Court precedent - specifically, five of the seven factors are punitive when applied to Pollard's case, the justices determined.

While all five justices agreed in result, Justice Theodore Boehm wrote a concurring opinion that said he disagreed with his colleagues on only one point: that a third test factor, involving the absence of a scienter element for certain forms of child molesting, is not significant in evaluating the punitive character of this statute.


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  1. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.

  2. I had a hospital and dcs caseworker falsify reports that my child was born with drugs in her system. I filed a complaint with the Indiana department of health....and they found that the hospital falsified drug screens in their investigation. Then I filed a complaint with human health services in Washington DC...dcs drug Testing is unregulated and is indicating false positives...they are currently being investigated by human health services. Then I located an attorney and signed contracts one month ago to sue dcs and Anderson community hospital. Once the suit is filed I am taking out a loan against the suit and paying a law firm to file a writ of mandamus challenging the courts jurisdiction to invoke chins case against me. I also forwarded evidence to a u.s. senator who contacted hhs to push an investigation faster. Once the lawsuit is filed local news stations will be running coverage on the situation. Easy day....people will be losing their jobs soon...and judge pancol...who has attempted to cover up what has happened will also be in trouble. The drug testing is a kids for cash and federal funding situation.

  3. (A)ll (C)riminals (L)ove (U)s is up to their old, "If it's honorable and pro-American, we're against it," nonsense. I'm not a big Pence fan but at least he's showing his patriotism which is something the left won't do.

  4. While if true this auto dealer should be held liable, where was the BMV in all of this? How is it that the dealer was able to get "clean" titles to these vehicles in order to sell them to unsuspecting consumers?

  5. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless [ ] Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. GOD BLESS THE GOVERNORS RESISTING! Count on the gutless judiciary to tie our children down and facilitate the swords being drawn across their throats. Wake Up America ...