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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. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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