Courts

Supreme Court rejects appeal under NC racial bias law

October 3, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States will not hear an appeal from four former death row inmates in North Carolina who claimed systemic racial bias contributed to their death sentences.
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Supreme Court rejects NCAA appeal of antitrust ruling

October 3, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court is leaving in place court rulings that found the NCAA's amateurism rules for big-time college basketball and football players violated federal antitrust law.
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Supreme Court will not re-hear immigration case

October 3, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has declined an Obama administration request to break its recent tie over plans to protect millions of immigrants, when a ninth justice is on the bench.
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Justices suspend City Court judge accused of battering police chief

September 30, 2016
Dave Stafford
Dunkirk City Court Judge Tommy Dale “Chip” Phillips II has been suspended with pay after he was charged with assaulting the city’s police chief, who is also Phillips’ nephew.
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Judge denies state bid to reduce $31 million award against DCS

September 30, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge Friday rejected the state of Indiana’s motion to reduce a jury’s $31 million award last year against Department of Child Services workers and a state police officer for the wrongful removal of a couple’s children and prosecution of their parents.
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St. Vincent loses court battle over $15 million hospital loan

September 30, 2016
John Russell, IBJ Staff
St. Vincent Health has lost a two-year battle over whether it can be reimbursed by Medicare for interest expenses on a $15 million loan it took out to build a new hospital in eastern Indiana.
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Indianapolis man sues Chipotle, others over sign collapse

September 30, 2016
Susan Orr, IBJ Staff
An Indianapolis man who gained national attention after his car was crushed by a Chipotle sign on the north side has filed a lawsuit against the restaurant company as well as the property owner and manager.
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Man who attacked officers not insane during incident

September 30, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that he was insane when he charged at, bit and spit at officers while he was in jail, but that his behavior was a result of his drug withdrawal.
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Posey County man’s convictions for rape, confinement of woman affirmed

September 30, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The past drug use of the woman who was held against her will for nearly two months and repeatedly raped was not relevant to the criminal trial of the man who abducted her, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Hot dog vendor who stabbed man in head loses appeal

September 30, 2016
Dave StaffordMore

Lake Circuit Judge Paras resigning early

September 30, 2016
Dave Stafford
Lake Circuit Court Judge George Paras will leave the bench early after being unseated in May’s Democratic primary by Highland lawyer Marissa McDermott.
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Charge under wrong part of statute reverses conviction

September 30, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction of attempted obstruction of justice was reversed Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals because the state charged him under the wrong part of the statute.
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Tax Court dismisses case against Department of Revenue due to petitioner inaction

September 30, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Tax Court dismissed a gasoline and convenience store company’s case against the state Department of Revenue Thursday, writing that the company failed to respond to discovery requests or take any action in the case for a period of more than two months.
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Ex-IU running back pleads not guilty to molestation

September 30, 2016
 Associated Press
Former Indiana University running back Kiante Enis has pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony child molestation for allegedly having an illegal relationship with a girl under age 13.
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Supreme Court upholds man's murder, robbery convictions

September 29, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld a man’s convictions and life sentence for murder and robbery after the justices rejected each of his arguments alleging error on the part of the Grant Superior Court.
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Supreme Court vacates order to require restitution as part of woman’s probation

September 29, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court has vacated an order a defendant pay restitution as a condition of probation after finding that the trial court failed to determine that the defendant did not have the ability to pay.
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Former Lake Station mayor, wife sentenced in gambling scheme

September 29, 2016
 Associated Press
The former mayor of Lake Station will serve four years in prison and pay tens of thousands of dollars in fines for using campaign money and city food pantry funds to gamble.
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Monarch affiliate gets OK to sell liquor after judge denies stay

September 29, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission granted Spirited a temporary permit to sell liquor on a wholesale basis this week after a Marion County Special Court judge denied the state of Indiana’s request for a stay on an August ruling that found the state agency was “arbitrary and capricious” in its decision to deny the company a liquor wholesaling permit back in 2014.
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Cold case murder charge against Fort Wayne man dropped

September 29, 2016
 Associated Press
Prosecutors have dropped a murder charge against a Fort Wayne man whose trial in a 1993 slaying ending in a mistrial when jurors could not agree on a verdict.
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COA rejects ex-teacher’s appeal for lighter sentence for seduction of student

September 29, 2016
Olivia Covington
A former Indiana teacher and coach convicted of child seduction with a student cannot have his sentence reduced after the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that his character and the nature of his offense do not warrant a lighter sentence.
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Report: Just 37 percent facing deportation have lawyers

September 29, 2016
Dave Stafford
Fewer than four in 10 people facing deportation proceedings in the United States are represented by legal counsel. Among the majority of those immigrants who are in government detention, just 14 percent had lawyers, according to a new study.
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Attorneys differ by more than $100M in latest BMV lawsuit

September 29, 2016
 Associated Press
Attorneys for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles and for plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against the agency differ by more than $100 million in how much it should repay motorists for overcharged license and title fees.
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COA finds electrician can sue companies after mesothelioma diagnosis

September 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday that an electrician can sue the companies where he previously worked as an independent contractor for negligence and liability after he was exposed to asbestos.
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COA says attempted murder is not an exception to voluntary intoxication statute

September 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday that a man cannot have his attempted murder charge overturned because he was drunk at the time of the incident, writing that voluntary intoxication does not negate the specific intent to kill requirement of an attempted murder charge.
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COA finds no evidence of severe mental illness to prohibit pro se proceedings

September 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
A woman’s convictions for possession of controlled substances and operating a vehicle while intoxicated will stand after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday that she did not suffer from a severe mental illness that should have precluded her from proceeding pro se.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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