Courts

Majority reverses teen’s underage drinking adjudication

April 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals wanted to make a point “loud and clear” Tuesday: Suspicion of criminal activity is not an exception to the warrant requirement. The majority reversed a teen’s adjudication as a delinquent based on acts of illegal possession of alcohol, illegal consumption of alcohol, and aiding illegal consumption of alcohol.
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DNA in glove at scene sufficient to uphold burglary conviction

April 29, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated a conviction vacated by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The high court unanimously affirmed a conviction of Class C felony burglary with a habitual offender enhancement, finding a glove at the crime scene with the suspect’s DNA was sufficient for a jury to determine guilt.
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Man’s guilty but mentally ill conviction upheld

April 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to reweigh the evidence that led to a man being found guilty but mentally ill of murder and battery. Jamal Ahmad Gore argued he should have been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
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COA: No fundamental error in admitting testimony

April 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s two convictions of sexual misconduct with a minor after finding that there was no fundamental error in the admittance of certain testimony at his trial.
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Judges deny stepfather’s request to adopt children

April 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A mother’s deliberate decision to thwart the attempts of her ex-husband to communicate with their two small children supports the trial court’s decision to deny her current husband’s attempt to adopt the children, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Tuesday.
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Lawyer reprimanded for enforcing associate’s separation agreement

April 29, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Clark County attorney was reprimanded Tuesday by the Indiana Supreme Court over terms of a separation agreement he enforced against an associate who left the firm.
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Truck’s ‘excessive’ smoke justified traffic stop

April 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a police officer had reasonable suspicion to pull over a driver after seeing his truck emit an “excessive” amount of smoke.
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COA affirms dropped charges for ex-IURC chief Hardy

April 29, 2014
Dave Stafford
Because David Lott Hardy, former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, broke no laws, a trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in dismissing felony official misconduct charges against him, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Justices take 4 cases on transfer

April 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to four cases last week, including a case that divided the Indiana Court of Appeals over whether a drunken driving retrial was double jeopardy.
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160 pass February bar exam

April 29, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Board of Law Examiners has released the names of the 160 people who passed the February 2014 bar exam.
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Plea bars man from credit for time served on electronic monitoring

April 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man entered into a plea agreement that he was not entitled to credit for the time he was on electronic monitoring as a condition of bond, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed his 14-year sentence.
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COA heads to northern Indiana for ‘Appeals on Wheels’

April 28, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals will travel to northern Indiana Wednesday to hear arguments in Lake and St. Joseph counties involving two criminal cases.
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Suspended lawyer warned against ‘frivolous’ pleadings

April 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has warned a suspended attorney to stop filing frivolous motions in an unsuccessful suit alleging police misconduct against the city of Gary and other defendants.
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Indy picks former GM site for new criminal justice complex

April 28, 2014
IBJ Staff
The city of Indianapolis announced April 25 that it is asking development teams to use part of the former GM Stamping Plant property west of downtown in its proposals for a new criminal justice center.
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Gambler scores partial victory before Tax Court

April 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Tax Court Thursday granted an alleged professional gambler’s motion to compel the Department of State Revenue to comply with nearly all of his discovery requests in his quest to deduct certain business expenses.
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Judges decline to revise man’s 60-year molestation sentence

April 25, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument to revise his sentence for molesting the daughters of his ex-girlfriend to be served concurrently instead of consecutively because of his age and he is paraplegic.
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Bankruptcy filings drop in Indiana

April 25, 2014
IL Staff
Bankruptcy filings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana, fell for the 12-month period ending March 31 as compared to the same time in 2013, according to the United States Courts.
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COA reissues expungement opinion

April 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reissued its decision finding the trial court should have granted a man’s petition for expungement. The court originally handed down the opinion in Taylor v. State, 45A03-1310-CR-406, April 17.
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Woman’s conviction for threatening apartment manager upheld

April 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a woman’s intimidation conviction Thursday, finding the evidence supports the charge that she threatened the manager of the apartment complex where she lived.
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Court upholds man’s molestation convictions

April 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding no juror misconduct or any fundamental error in the admission of certain testimony during a man’s trial for molesting his daughter, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld his multiple molestation convictions. He will also have to file a petition for post-conviction relief to challenge his habitual offender adjudication.
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ABA: Lawyers should not contact jurors through social media

April 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Attorneys can look at a juror’s public Facebook page but shouldn’t message the juror through the Internet or social media and try to access a private account, according to a formal opinion released Thursday by the American Bar Association.
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Justice Department outlines new clemency initiative

April 23, 2014
IL Staff
The U.S. Department of Justice Wednesday announced its initiative to encourage qualified federal inmates to petition to have their sentences commuted or reduced by the president of the United States.
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Judges uphold man’s conspiracy conviction

April 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although the state charged a man with the non-existent crime of “conspiracy to commit attempted armed robbery,” the record shows Matthew Wilhoite was actually convicted of conspiring to commit armed robbery. As such, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected his claim he was convicted of a crime that doesn’t exist.
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COA adopts rule allowing for partial subordination of 1st lienholder’s interest

April 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday decided the state should follow the majority rule on agreements to modify the priority of liens securing interests in a borrower’s assets.
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Judges affirm ex-wife’s cut of lottery winnings

April 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a woman’s contention that she should be entitled to more than 2.5 percent of her ex-husband’s lottery winnings based on his admission that 70 percent distribution would be “fair and equitable.”
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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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