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7th Circuit dismisses 3 Latin Kings gang members’ appeals

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because three Latin Kings gang members took plea deals with the government after they were charged with several counts – including conspiracy to participate in racketeering – that limited their ability to appeal, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out their appeals Friday.
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Court affirms escape conviction for home detention violation

August 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday affirmed a Class D felony escape conviction for an Indianapolis man arrested after he broke his home detention curfew.
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Court must make findings in denying visitation for imprisoned dad

August 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man released to probation on a murder conviction but subsequently ordered to serve the remainder of his sentence following probation violations failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse denial of his request for parenting time.
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Negative drug test, prior accusations don’t change molester’s convictions

August 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Monday affirmed the child molesting convictions and 30-year sentence of a man who claimed he was prejudiced because the trial court declined to admit a drug test from the victim showing she had no marijuana in her system.
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COA affirms man’s speedy trial request not violated

August 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday affirmed the 25-year sentence handed down to a man whose erratic driving led police to pull his vehicle over and discover cocaine on the passenger. The judges found his right to a fast and speedy trial was not violated and the evidence supports that he jointly possessed the cocaine.
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7th Circuit upholds drug convictions, remands for resentencing

August 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed three defendants’ convictions stemming from a cocaine distribution ring in Indianapolis but found that there were errors in sentencing the defendants.
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Judges order man sentenced under original plea agreement

August 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The District Court committed a legal error when it withdrew a defendant’s guilty plea on his behalf instead of allowing the defendant the choice to stand by the plea or withdraw it, ruled the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Judges uphold man’s sentence under newer guidelines

August 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals had to decide Thursday whether the sentencing of a man under the 2011 Sentencing Guidelines for child pornography offenses that took place over the course of seven years created constitutional problems since different guidelines were in place when he committed the crimes.
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Sentencing panel to weigh economic crime penalties

August 15, 2014
 Associated Press
The federal panel that sets sentencing policy announced Thursday that it plans in the coming year to consider changes to sentencing guidelines for some white-collar crimes.
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Lighter sentences sought for some business crimes

August 14, 2014
 Associated Press
The federal panel that sets sentencing policy eased penalties this year for potentially tens of thousands of nonviolent drug offenders. Now, defense lawyers and prisoner advocates are pushing for similar treatment for a different category of defendants: swindlers, embezzlers, insider traders and other white-collar criminals.
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Justices uphold sentence, clarify previous caselaw

August 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted a case to address the proposition that relying on an element of the offense as an aggravating factor when sentencing is no longer prohibited. The justices believe that the Court of Appeals has applied this position too broadly.
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7th Circuit affirms man not entitled to habeas relief

August 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Although a federal judge erroneously held that a savings clause did not apply to a habeas petition filed by an inmate in Terre Haute, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal based on the merits of the petition.
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Death row inmate denied relief by 7th Circuit

August 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Arkansas man on death row in Indiana for killing a woman in Texas nearly 20 years ago was unable to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that he should not be put to death. Bruce Carneil Webster argues he is mentally retarded and has new evidence that would affect his sentence.
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7th Circuit remands denial of request for crack cocaine sentence reduction

July 31, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for his role as a Gary gang member who sold large quantities of crack cocaine will have a new shot at a sentence modification, as will the judge who wrote that the defendant may have been linked to several gang-related murders.
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Court affirms denial of post-conviction relief

July 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
An Elkhart County man twice convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison on drug convictions was not improperly denied post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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7th Circuit rejects prisoner’s ineffective assistance appeal

July 28, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of attempted murder failed to convince a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that he suffered sufficient prejudice to warrant relief from a 90-year sentence imposed after a brutal crime.
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Woman waived challenge to amount of loss attributable to her conduct

July 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the 57-month sentence for a woman involved in a real estate fraud scheme, finding she waived the issue regarding the amount of loss attributable to her conduct.
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Commission approves retroactive reduction in drug trafficking sentences

July 18, 2014
IL Staff
The United States Sentencing Commission unanimously voted Friday to retroactively apply a reduction in the sentencing guideline levels applicable to most federal trafficking offenders. The change could impact the sentences of more than 46,000 prisoners.
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Plea agreement bars defendant from appealing sentence

July 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant who agreed to waive his right to appeal his sentence after pleading guilty to a drug offense was unable to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that he should be allowed to pursue his ineffective assistance of counsel claim.
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Judges uphold felony conviction for kicking cat

July 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an Allen County man’s conviction of Class D felony torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal, finding sufficient evidence that the man knowingly or intentionally mutilated a cat that somehow got into his house.
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Appeals court affirms post-conviction relief not justified for rapist

July 15, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who pleaded guilty in 1997 to raping his 6-year-old daughter committed a crime so heinous that his sentence of 50 years in prison was justified, and he raised no issues in a post-conviction relief appeal on which the sentence could be reduced.
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Judges uphold 40-year sentence in drug deal turned robbery

July 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s 40-year sentence for his role in the robbery of two people after he set up a drug deal with one of the victims.
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Counties worry about cost of criminal code changes

July 2, 2014
 Associated Press
Sweeping changes to Indiana's criminal code took effect Tuesday that will send more low-level, nonviolent criminals to community corrections programs and jails instead of state prisons, causing concern by some about the financial burden it will put on counties.
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Plea agreement did not give court ability to impose restrictive probation

June 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court went too far when it accepted a plea agreement then imposed a one-year term in work release as a condition of probation, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.
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Judges vacate 2 conditions of supervised release

June 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because two special conditions imposed on a man convicted of attempted extortion do not bear a reasonably direct relationship to his underlying crimes, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated those conditions.
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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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