Criminal case

High court divided on revising molester's sentence

June 30, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Two justices dissented from their colleague’s decision to reduce a child molester’s sentence more than 50 years, believing the opinion “blurs the guidance” given in a 2008 opinion regarding sentence reviews.
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High court divided on public intoxication charge

June 29, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In deciding that a woman’s public intoxication conviction should stand, four Indiana Supreme Court justices declined to reverse her conviction on public policy grounds and found the conviction didn’t violate any constitutional right.
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Justices reduce molester's sentence to 110 years

June 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court found that an enhanced sentence for a man convicted of nine counts of molesting his girlfriend’s young daughter is warranted, but reduced the man’s 324-year sentence to 110 years.
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Judge: Man did not knowingly waive right to counsel

June 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge raised six points in a dissent Monday as to why he disagreed with his colleagues’ decision to affirm the revocation of a man’s probation based on the conclusion that the defendant knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived his right to counsel.
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Women accused of operating 'puppy mill' file lawsuit

June 24, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The mother and daughter who were accused of running a “puppy mill” and had animals removed from their homes as a result of tax law violations are now suing the Indiana attorney general and others involved in the removal of the dogs.
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Justices rule on cases using 3-step test seeking records

June 23, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court tackled the issue of requests for production of information to private third parties in two opinions Thursday – one dealing with records sought that fall under the victim-advocate privilege and the other dealing with unprotected information.
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Justices discuss jury unanimity in molestation cases

June 23, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court addressed the issue of unanimous jury verdicts in child molesting cases Thursday, and adopted reasoning from the California Supreme Court when dealing with the “either/or” rule in cases where multiple instances are mentioned but the defendant faces only one charge.
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7th Circuit sends Corcoran case back to trial court

June 23, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Following a remand from the United States Supreme Court in late 2010, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals admitted it made mistakes in its recent decision involving a convicted murderer’s appeal and sent the case to the District Court to address habeas relief claims.
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COA splits on reversing convictions for Batson violation

June 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A divided Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a defendant’s convictions, including attempted battery with a deadly weapon, finding the state’s explanations for striking the only African-American from the jury were pretextual and purposeful discrimination.
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Justices uphold admitting juvenile's confession

June 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has found that a juvenile court didn’t err in admitting a teen’s confession, finding the boy was given the opportunity for meaningful consultation with his mother and that he knowingly waived his rights. The justices did also emphasize that the waiver used should be altered to make it more clear.
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Justices rule vehicular flight from police is 'violent' felony

June 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court affirmed an Indianapolis federal judge’s ruling, finding that someone who flees from police in a vehicle is committing a “crime of violence” that justifies a longer sentence.
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COA vacates conviction on double jeopardy grounds

June 17, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a man who helped participate in a robbery that left the victim blind must be cleared of a criminal confinement conviction because the same evidence may have been used to convict him on another charge.
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Justices address incompetent defendants in 2 cases

June 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court handed down two opinions Tuesday in which the defendants, who were found to be incompetent at some point, argued that pending charges violated their rights to due process on fundamental-fairness grounds.
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Appellate court upholds motion to suppress after traffic stop

June 14, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a trial judge that a police officer didn’t have reasonable suspicion to stop a driver believed to be intoxicated.
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Judges affirm motion to suppress after illegal police entry

June 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge wrote a separate opinion in an unlawful arrest case, emphasizing that the facts before the court differ from those before the Indiana Supreme Court justices in Barnes v. State.
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SCOTUS: Vehicular flight from police is 'violent' felony

June 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court has upheld an Indianapolis federal judge's ruling, finding that someone who flees from police in a vehicle is committing a “crime of violence” that justifies a longer sentence.
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Justices rule: No right to resist

June 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court caught many people off guard when it abolished the common law right of citizens to reasonably resist police from entering their homes, no matter the situation and regardless of whether the entry is legal.
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Local counsel rule found unconstitutional

June 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Northern District of Indiana was essentially creating a built-in appeal issue on ineffective assistance of counsel, and it called out a senior judge for violating a man’s Sixth Amendment right to choose his own lawyer.
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High court to hear insurance, drug, murder cases

June 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted three cases June 3, including two cases in which the Indiana Court of Appeals were split in their rulings on a drug case and an insurance case.
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COA: man doesn't have to testify for self-defense instruction

June 2, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for a man convicted of murder because the trial court erred by refusing to instruct the jury on self-defense without the defendant’s testimony.
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High court splits on molestation conviction

June 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court was divided Wednesday in an opinion regarding whether a man could be charged with Class C felony child molesting 16 years after he last molested his stepniece.
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Appellate court addresses parental privilege in 2 opinions

May 31, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In two cases involving the parental privilege defense, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a teacher who “flicked” a special education student’s tongue and against a father hit his daughter numerous times with a belt.
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Court rules on public defender fee imposition

May 27, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has decided that a state statute’s indigency hearing requirement doesn’t apply when a defendant has entered into a cash bail-bond agreement, meaning a trial court can use that bond money to pay court costs such as the imposed public defender fee.
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Justices rule on first impression issue involving sentence modification

May 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court handed down two opinions Thursday afternoon in which the justices found the trial judges involved erred in modifying the defendants’ sentences from Class D felonies to Class A misdemeanors.
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Court reverses feticide convictions on double jeopardy grounds

May 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The man who shot a pregnant teller during a bank robbery, which led to the death of her twins, had his two felony feticide convictions vacated by the Indiana Court of Appeals because of double jeopardy violations.
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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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