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Justices take sex offender case

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a case filed by a convicted felon who refuses to register as a sex offender for life.

The justices accepted Edwin G. Buss, et al. v. Michael L. Harris, No. 52S02-1011-CV-642. Michael Harris pleaded guilty to felony child molesting in 1999 and was re-incarcerated twice for parole violations. He learned in 2007 that he’d be designated as a sexually violent predator and would have to register for life after state statutes had been revised. He refused to sign the forms and sued in late 2007.

The trial court granted Harris’ requests for declaratory and injunctive relief, relying on Wallace v. State, 905 N.E.2d 371, 374-377 (Ind. 2009), and Jensen v. State, 905 N.E.2d 384 (Ind. 2009).

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court in May 2010, ruling the Indiana Department of Correction isn’t authorized to determine whether an offender is a sexually violent predator. They rejected the state’s construction of the statutory provisions, ruling the legislature didn’t intend that an offender could have completed his sentence and reporting requirement and, without notice, be found in violation of lifetime reporting requirements because of amendments to statute.

The appellate judges cited Jones v. State, 885 N.E.2d 1286 (Ind. 2008), to support their ruling.
 

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  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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