Government

Judge: Courts failing on mental illness

April 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana Court of Appeals judge today lambastes the criminal justice system's efforts in dealing with defendants who may never be competent to stand trial, inviting more to be done by either the state's lawmakers or highest court.
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Coverage for unborn children up in air

April 16, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Lawmakers failed to act on a bill that would have amended Indiana's child wrongful death statute to cover unborn children, thus defeating it for this legislative session in its current form.
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Indiana delegation attending ABA summit

April 15, 2009
IL Staff
Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard is heading an Indiana delegation that will attend the American Bar Association's national summit to foster cooperation and communication among the three branches of state government.
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Senate OKs COA panel, St. Joe judge elections

April 15, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The full Senate voted today in support of legislation scrapping the St. Joseph Superior judge merit-selection system for judicial elections, and also creating a new panel for the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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High court rules in favor of AG in casino case

April 14, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the state's attorney general in a suit for constructive trust and unjust enrichment against a for-profit corporation receiving contributions from a casino, finding the trial court erred in dismissing the claims.
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COA at Purdue University for election case

April 13, 2009
IL Staff
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges visits Purdue University Tuesday for arguments in an election dispute out of Delaware County.
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AG files suit against foreclosure consultants

April 9, 2009
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed lawsuits today against five foreclosure consulting companies accused of violating state laws.
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Senate gets St. Joe judges bill, with twist

April 8, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The full Indiana Senate will consider in the next week whether St. Joseph Superior judges should be elected or merit-selected and retained by voters. A Senate committee wants the full legislative body to consider that issue, but with a twist: An amendment has been attached to the controversial House Bill 1491.
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Use of bench warrants still not certain

April 7, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Attorneys have settled a federal case that led to the Marion Superior Court scrapping its practice of issuing bench warrants for the arrest of people who'd failed to appear in civil cases, but a statewide investigation of whether state law allows judges to issue these warrants remains ongoing.
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House OKs feticide bill, sends back to Senate

April 7, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Legislation that would increase the penalty for fetal homicide has made it through the Indiana House of Representatives, and now must go back for approval in the Senate where it originated since some changes were made.
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Federal judicial nomination hearing draws crowd

April 2, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Senate Judiciary Committee considered U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton's nomination for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals at a Wednesday afternoon hearing.
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Seminar, CLE on Criminal Justice Act

April 2, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Federal Community Defenders will host a seminar for attorneys interested in joining the Criminal Justice Act panel of attorneys to represent indigent clients accused of crimes against the United States.
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No vote yet on St. Joe judges bill

April 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana Senate committee debated this morning a bill that would make it so St. Joseph Superior judges are elected rather than chosen by merit selection and later retained by voters.
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Senate Judiciary holds nomination hearing

April 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A busy Congressional calendar has caused the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to move its nomination hearing to a room without cameras, which leaves Indiana's legal community in the dark about an Indianapolis-based federal judge's nomination for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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St. Joe judges election bill hearing Wednesday

March 31, 2009
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Room 130 at the Statehouse to discuss several bills on first reading, including House Bill 1491, which would require nonpartisan elections of St. Joseph Superior judges.
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Forum to focus on energy policy and progress

March 31, 2009
IL Staff
The 2009 Environmental Policy Forum Spring Symposium at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis will feature professors, members of the Indiana General Assembly and various environmental and energy organizations who will examine Indiana's energy policy and the progress and prospects for legislation.
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Clinic director moves to AG's office

March 26, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
After founding Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic and serving as its executive director since January 1994, Abigail Kuzma is leaving the organization to work in the Consumer Protection Division of the Indiana Attorney General's Office.
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Judge Hamilton nominated for 7th Circuit

March 17, 2009
Michael Hoskins
An Indianapolis federal judge could be the next to take a spot on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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High court rules on issue preclusion in tax case

March 16, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
In an opinion handed down March 6, the Indiana Supreme Court had to decide whether a previous ruling barred the Indiana Department of Revenue from raising new contentions in support of a different method of allocation of income to the state.
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Single order can have more than 1 disposition

March 10, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has clarified juvenile caselaw, telling trial courts they can order a juvenile be committed to the Department of Correction and in the same order also require probation after release.
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2 new members of Public Defender Commission

March 9, 2009
IL Staff
Indiana Speaker of the House Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, has appointed two new members to the Public Defender Commission, the Indiana Supreme Court announced today. Representatives Vernon G. Smith, D-Gary, and Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, join the 11-member commission.
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COA upholds denial of motion for class action

March 9, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a motion for a class-action suit because a claimant seeking redress pursuant the Wage Claims Act has to first submit the claim to the Department of Labor before filing a lawsuit and can't bypass the statute if another member of the putative class has already submitted a claim.
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Former White County prosecutor dies

March 3, 2009
IL Staff
A former White County prosecutor and Monticello attorney died March 1.
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Judge: punitive-damage cap unconstitutional

March 3, 2009
Michael Hoskins
A Marion County judge has refused to reduce damages in a priest sex-abuse case, saying the punitive damage caps put in place more than a decade ago are unconstitutional.
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Professor faces Senate Judiciary Committee

February 26, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington professor Dawn Johnsen faced the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday as part of the nomination process to become the next assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel, the office that advises the president on legal matters.
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  1. Am I the only one who sees that the City is essentially giving away the MSA site AND giving millions to build new buildings on the site when this site would be the perfect place for the Justice Complex? Across from City-County, check; keeping it centrally located, check, etc. It's my understanding that the GM site must be purchased by the City from Motors Liquidation Company. STOP WASTING WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE AND OUR TAX DOLLARS! The Ballard Administration has not been known for it's common sense...never voted for him and never will!

  2. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  3. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  4. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  5. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

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