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Justices take 3 cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court accepted transfer of three cases last week, including a case in which the Indiana Court of Appeals lengthened a man’s sentence.

In Jeffrey E. Akard v. State of Indiana, No. 79S02-1009-CR-478, the Court of Appeals increased Jeffrey Akard’s sentence for rape and other convictions by 25 years. Akard claimed his sentence for multiple counts of rape, criminal deviate conduct, criminal confinement, and battery was inappropriate and should be revised to run concurrently so he would have a 40-year sentence.

But the judges decided to lengthen his 93-year sentence to 118 years because his is a “most unusual case,” citing Indiana Supreme Court Justice Theodore Boehm's concurring opinion in McCullough v. State, 900 N.E.2d 745, 750 (Ind. 2009). The judges found the trial court sentenced Akard below the statutory minimum on several counts. The appellate court upheld Akard’s increased sentence in a rehearing in June.

In Howard Regional Health System, et al. v. Jacob Gordon, et al., No. 34S02-1009-CV-476, the Court of Appeals held if a hospital or medical provider loses records so that a patient can’t pursue a medical malpractice claim, state law lets that patient pursue a separate civil action for spoliation of evidence. The judges found a private cause of action is established under Indiana Code Section 16-39-7-1 regarding the consequences of violating the state’s medical record retention statute.

Jacob Gordon’s mother, Lisa, filed a medical malpractice suit and asked for evidence from the hospital where Jacob was born. Howard Community Hospital took 18 months to tell her that the information couldn’t be found. The appellate court affirmed partial summary judgment against the hospital for spoliation of evidence.

In Kevin Taylor v. State of Indiana, No. 20S04-1009-PC-477, the Court of Appeals split on the impact of a jury instruction on robbery in Kevin Taylor’s trial. Taylor was convicted of felony murder during a robbery; he filed for post-conviction relief claiming ineffective assistance of trial counsel because his attorney didn’t object to the final instructions, which did not instruct on the elements of robbery.

The judges held Taylor met his burden of showing the post-conviction court erred by ruling his counsel hadn’t performed deficiently, but only Judge Cale Bradford believed Taylor wasn’t prejudiced by his attorney’s performance. The majority remanded for a new trial.
 

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  1. 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.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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