Criminal case

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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7th Circuit: Indiana judge violated man's Sixth Amendment right to counsel

May 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An appellate court has ruled that a senior judge in the Northern District of Indiana violated a man’s Sixth Amendment rights by not allowing him to proceed to trial with the lawyer of his choosing.
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High court rules man could be retried

May 18, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Double Jeopardy Clause of the U.S. Constitution doesn’t prevent the state from retrying a man who was acquitted by a jury in the murder of one person, but in which the jury couldn’t return a verdict on the defendant's attempted murder charge of another man, the Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday.
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Supreme Court receives threats after ruling

May 17, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has received threatening calls and emails following a ruling last week in which the high court said Hoosiers can’t resist unlawful entry into their homes by police.
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Lawyer sentenced for theft, corrupt business practice

May 16, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A northeast Indiana attorney who pleaded guilty to stealing from his clients has been sentenced to 11 years in prison, with five and one-half of those years suspended to active probation.
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Justice: Ruling lets government agents enter homes illegally

May 12, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Supreme Court justices dissented from their colleagues in a case involving the right to resist unlawful police entry into a home, with one justice writing that he believes the majority is “essentially telling Indiana citizens that government agents may now enter their homes illegally.”
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State death penalty cases averaged 17 years

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When the moment of death finally arrives, it ends what may be described as a long legal journey to justice within the capital punishment system.
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Judge rejects plea for former physician

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
U.S. Judge Philip Simon in the Northern District of Indiana rejected a plea agreement on April 27 for former physician Mark Weinberger, who faces at least 22 criminal counts of billing insurers and patients for procedures he didn’t perform.
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Justices rule on 'no-knock' warrant executions

May 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Constitution doesn’t require prior judicial authorization for a “no-knock” execution of a warrant when justified by exigent circumstances, the Indiana Supreme Court held Tuesday. This is the case even if those circumstances are known by police when the warrant is obtained.
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COA affirms remanded sentence

May 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s remanded sentence of 44 years, finding that his previous drug conviction could serve as both the basis for his consecutive sentence for a firearm conviction and to enhance his sentences for his other convictions.
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Justices take felony murder, child support cases

May 9, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to two cases - a convicted murder’s appeal and a case involving child support nonpayment.
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Justices address judicial-temperance presumption

May 6, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court used an opinion Thursday to reaffirm the limitation described in Fletcher v. State on the judicial-temperance presumption.
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7th Circuit addresses sex offender registration law

May 3, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has joined a majority of other circuits nationwide in finding that the federal sex offender registration law is not a retroactive punishment on those who were convicted prior to 2006 and traveled after the law was enacted.
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7th Circuit rejects ineffective trial assistance claim

April 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the denial of a defendant’s motion to vacate his guilty plea, claiming ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The judges found the record foreclosed any claim that the man’s attorney was constitutionally ineffective or that the man didn’t otherwise knowingly and voluntarily plead guilty.
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COA splits on need for evidentiary hearing in revocation

April 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split as to whether only a chronological case summary entry indicating a man’s admissions to violating terms of community corrections placement is enough to bypass holding an evidentiary hearing.
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Judges uphold identity thief's sentence

April 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a decision Friday, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals repeated its holding that a District judge can satisfy the review standards under 18 U.S.C. Section 3553(a) without having to list every possible sentencing factor or detail of every argument raised for the federal appellate court to find that the sentence was proper.
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Kissing a sleeping victim doesn't constitute sexual battery

April 20, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A victim being asleep isn’t equivalent to a mental disability or deficiency for purposes of the sexual battery statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Court tackles 'sexual activity' meaning in statute

April 7, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals addressed Thursday the term “sexual activity” – an issue in which there is scant law – and ordered a man be acquitted. The man was convicted under federal statute for attempting to entice a girl he believed to be less than 18 years old to engage in any sexual activity while they chatted online.
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  1. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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