sentence

Trial court has no authority to alter man’s conviction

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart Superior judge was correct in determining that he couldn’t reduce a man’s Class D felony conviction to a Class A misdemeanor a year after the original judgment was made, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA finds evidence supporting restitution order too flimsy

August 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A victim of a burglary will have to turn to the civil process to get restitution after the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and remanded with instructions a trial court’s order that provided the victim with $711.95 in compensation.
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Sentence affirmed for child molestation conviction

August 14, 2012
Dave Stafford
An Adams Circuit judge’s sentence of 90 years in prison for a man convicted of molesting two girls ages 7 and 9 and for being a habitual offender was not inappropriate, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Divided court affirms life without parole for 17-year-old who killed younger brother

August 1, 2012
Dave Stafford
A 3-2 decision of the Indiana Supreme Court upheld a sentence of life without parole for a 17-year-old who killed his 10-year-old brother while babysitting and later dumped his body near a school in Rising Sun.
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Justices reduce caregiver’s sentence in child’s killing

August 1, 2012
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court reduced the sentence of a woman who, along with her boyfriend, was convicted in the events that led to the murder of the woman’s 2-year-old cousin while in her care.
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Supreme Court knocks down habitual-offender enhancement

July 31, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court found a habitual-offender enhancement tacked onto the 20-year sentence of a serious violent felon was an “impermissible double enhancement.”
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Summary judgment upheld in contamination case

July 30, 2012
Dave Stafford
The former owners of a Beech Grove shopping plaza that once contained a laundry and dry cleaning business that contaminated soil and groundwater cannot be held liable due to the statute of limitations, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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COA reverses sentencing on grounds it exceeded statutory maximum

July 27, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a defendant that her sentence for a Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana exceeded the statutory maximum and remanded the case to the trial court for resentencing.
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COA upholds trial court’s actions and sentence during drug trial

July 27, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant who contended the trial court abused its discretion and imposed an inappropriately harsh sentence had his drug conviction upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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245-year sentence affirmed in Hovey Street slayings

July 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
The gunman who pleaded guilty to four murders in the 3200 block of Hovey Street in Indianapolis was properly given and deserved a 245-year sentence for the crimes, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Justices: Good-time-credit amendment not retroactive

July 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court interpreted a 2010 amendment on credit time earned during placement in community corrections to only apply to those placed on home detention on or after its July 1, 2010, effective date.
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Appeals court upholds killer’s PCR denial

July 27, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of murder in Delaware County is not entitled to post-conviction relief due to ineffective counsel, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Majority upholds habitual traffic violator conviction

July 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Four justices found that Indiana Code 9-30-10-16 indicating when a person commits a Class D felony while driving with a suspended license is not unconstitutionally vague and evidence supports a man’s conviction of Class D felony operating a motor vehicle as a habitual traffic violator.
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7th Circuit reverses ACCA enhancement

July 24, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Based on a sparse record of evidence that the District Court could consider in determining whether a man can be sentenced under the Armed Career Criminal Act, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found the government didn’t meet its burden to prove two of the man’s previous convictions from events on the same day were separate predicate offenses under the Act.
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Court upholds probation revocation

July 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
All of the arguments made by a man as to why his probation shouldn’t have been revoked failed before the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Judges affirm 65-year murder sentence

July 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Nothing about the defendant’s “extremely violent character” merited the Indiana Court of Appeals to reduce his murder sentence, the appellate judges ruled Friday.
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Man who killed girlfriend may be retried for reckless homicide

July 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The post-conviction court erred in denying Andrew McWhorter relief when he challenged his conviction of voluntary manslaughter in connection to the death of his girlfriend, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded. McWhorter may not be retried on the same charge, but may face retrial for reckless homicide.
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Judges disagree over impact of mental illness label at sentencing

July 11, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diane Wood believed that Michael Dean Overstreet, who was convicted of killing Franklin College student Kelly Eckart in 1997, was prejudiced by his attorneys’ decisions at sentencing regarding which experts should testify about his mental illness.
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7th Circuit affirms life sentences in prostitution ring

July 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
Two men sentenced to life in prison on an assortment of federal charges related to a prostitution ring involving underage girls that operated in northwest Indiana failed in their appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, but judges asked the trial court to clarify the sentence for a third defendant.
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Trial in absentia did not violate due process

July 3, 2012
Kelly Lucas
The due process rights of a man charged with two counts of Class C felony non-support of a dependent child were not violated when he was tried in absentia and without trial counsel, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Unreliable evidence weighing reduces Elkhart meth dealing conviction

June 28, 2012
Dave Stafford
Elkhart County prosecutors and state witnesses used dubious methods to weigh methamphetamine during a trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The court reversed a man’s Class A felony conviction and ordered the court to resentence him on a lesser charge.
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Appellate courts may consider credit time status

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana appellate courts can take into account the potential consequences of an offender’s status as a credit restricted felon when reviewing a sentence, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Court upholds former DCS worker’s child molesting convictions

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the 24-year sentence imposed on a former Hamilton County Department of Child Services’ case manager found guilty of molesting his cousin’s son.
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Judges reverse football player’s operating while intoxicated conviction

June 27, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with the state’s argument that prosecutorial discretion extends to the determination of which conviction should be vacated after a finding of double jeopardy.
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Judge orders Durham, Cochran jailed until sentencing

June 26, 2012
Cory Schouten
Convicted Ponzi schemers Tim Durham and James Cochran will be held in a federal prison until sentencing under an order issued Monday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson.
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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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