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Justices take case arguing retroactivity for revised criminal code

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A man convicted of cocaine charges as a Class A felony and ultimately sentenced to 38 years in prison will get to argue to the Indiana Supreme Court that his punishment is disproportionate to the reduced offense that will take effect in July as part of Indiana’s revised criminal code.

Justices granted transfer in the Shelby County case, Christopher Cross v. State of Indiana, 73S01-1401-CR-29. The revised criminal code, enacted in 2013 via House Enrolled Act 1006, removes cocaine possession and dealing charges from the category of crime with the highest sentencing range.

The Court of Appeals rejected Cross’ argument, holding that nothing in HEA 1006 suggests that the criminal code revision should be applied retroactively.

Justices also agreed to hear Nick McIlquham v. State of Indiana, 49S05-1401-CR-28, a Fourth Amendment case. McIlquham challenges his conviction of Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, Class D felony neglect of a dependent and misdemeanor marijuana counts, arguing the results of a search should have been excluded at trial.

Police conducted a warrantless search of McIlquham’s apartment because of concerns about the welfare of his young, partially nude daughter found wandering alone near a retention pond. The search turned up a loaded pistol and marijuana, and the Court of Appeals affirmed his convictions, holding the search was objectively reasonable under the circumstances as part of police community-caretaking duties.  

The Supreme Court also will hear a not-for-publication opinion involving a biological mother’s denial of a motion for relief from an adoption judgment. That case is In the Matter of the Adoption of C.A.H., minor, J.N.E. v. L.M.H., 49S02-1401-AD-30.

Justices also declined to grant transfer in 22 cases. Weekly transfer disposition reports may be viewed here.
 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

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