In Depth

Online Extra: Judicial Roundtable 2014

December 17, 2014
IL Staff
When Loretta Rush was named chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court in August, Indiana hit a milestone. For the first time, all of our state's appellate courts were being led by women. Indiana Lawyer recently invited Rush, Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik, Indiana Tax Judge Martha Wentworth and Chief Judge Robyn Moberly of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana's Bankruptcy Court to discuss their career paths as well as opportunities and challenges today's courts and lawyers face.
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Improving a child's access to counsel

November 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A proposed draft rule would change waiver procedures in the juvenile justice system.
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Indiana makes gains in permanent placement

September 14, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The state sees improvement, but aims to do better.
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Early intervention for juveniles

June 22, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A new law, along with pilot programs, encourage alternatives to keep kids out of courts.
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Views shift on use of executions

May 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
What if 1976 hadn’t played out the way it did, and some of the jurists on the U.S. Supreme Court had held the view of capital punishment at that juncture that they did at the end of their judicial careers? The death penalty may never have been reinstated.
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The evolution of capital punishment

May 25, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Lawyer takes a historical look at how the death penalty system has evolved during the past 40 years and how Indiana has amended its practices and procedures through the decades.
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What's next for Indiana's death penalty?

May 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Unlike other states, Indiana has not abolished or suspended use of executions.
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Enduring legal process doesn't change parents' desire for justice

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins

For 11 years, Dale and Connie Sutton’s lives as parents have been about ensuring what they see as justice for their murdered daughter.

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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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Mental aspect of capital cases can be challenging

May 11, 2011
Michael Hoskins
When it comes to tallying the total price of capital punishment, the cost of those cases for the legal community is more than just expansive legalese and court procedures that span a decade or two.
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Balancing philosophical with practical concerns regarding death penalty

April 27, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Indiana Lawyer takes an in-depth look at the death penalty in the "Cost of Justice" series.
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Prosecutors: money doesn't trump other factors when considering death penalty

April 27, 2011
Michael Hoskins
At a time when capital punishment requests are down and some state officials are questioning the cost and overall effectiveness of seeking a death sentence, the issue of what it’s worth to go after this ultimate punishment is getting more scrutiny in Indiana and nationwide. Read more in Indiana Lawyer's in-depth look at the death penalty and the cost of justice.
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Tug-of-war

October 28, 2009
Michael Hoskins

A last-minute change to a bill during the 2009 special session has stripped judges of their discretion regarding juvenile placements out of state by requiring them to get permission from the Department of Child Services. All three branches are reacting.

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Escaping execution

September 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Exoneree joins statewide campaign calling for a death-penalty moratorium.
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Recent changes impact state justice system

September 30, 2009
Michael Hoskins
National and state advocates pushing for wrongful conviction reforms judged that Indiana was behind other jurisdictions in strengthening its justice system, but they emphasized that ongoing discussions were a good starting point for the Hoosier legal community.
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Clinic argues for man's innocence

September 16, 2009
Michael Hoskins
the Indiana Supreme Court is considering whether to accept a post-conviction case on an issue some say is an important question of law relating to wrongful convictions.
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Reforms urged to prevent mistakes

September 16, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Indiana explores what revisions to make to its criminal justice system.
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Teaming up for change

September 2, 2009
Rebecca Berfanger
National, local experts meet in Indiana to discuss juvenile justice.
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Rising number of exonerees reflects flaws in justice system

September 2, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Convicts are turning to methods that have freed others who were wrongfully convicted, as well as new issues that continue surfacing in the nation's court system.
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Aiming for exoneration

September 2, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Inmate awaits court hearing
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CJ: Most players in appeals acting responsibly

August 26, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana chief justice said in an order that he would "smack down" judicial overreaching or overspending.
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Indiana: Better economic climate

April 29, 2009
Elizabeth Brockett
State's legal community successfully rising to recession-related challenges
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Bose lays off lawyers

April 1, 2009
Elizabeth Brockett
Cuts are state's first announced publicly
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Lawyers challenge imbalance of power

March 18, 2009
Michael Hoskins
Budget statute affected juvenile codes and gives the Department of Child Services oversight of judicial decision-making.
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Lawyer lands on feet

February 4, 2009
Attorney's job loss leads to his own legal consulting business
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  2. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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