Legal News

COA finds no reason to reverse man’s child molesting conviction

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
There was no prosecutorial misconduct or errors by the trial court that would require the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse a Marion County man’s child molesting conviction. The man raised several claims, including he was denied the right to an impartial jury and fair trial.
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Justices split over reducing meth sentence

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Justices Brent Dickson and Mark Massa disagreed with their colleagues Wednesday that a Tippecanoe County man’s 40-year sentence for Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine needed to be revised.
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Court affirms probation revocation, total time ordered in DOC

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Vigo County man lost his argument before the Indiana Court of Appeals that his term of informal probation should not have been revoked by the trial court after he violated terms of his placement in a home detention program.
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Appeals court upholds teen’s 55-year sentence for murder

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the 55-year sentence imposed on a juvenile waived into adult court for the murder of a friend. The teen claimed he should have been sentenced under the alternative sentencing scheme available for juveniles.
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IBM, state enter mediation over failed welfare contract

December 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
IBM Corp. and the state have agreed to mediation as a lawsuit between the parties over the failed billion-dollar contract to privatize welfare services awaits a ruling from the Indiana Supreme Court.
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IU McKinney partners with USI for legal scholarship

December 10, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney and the University of Southern Indiana have created a scholar program that will allow two students from USI to attend IU McKinney, beginning in the fall 2015.
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Reservist entitled to full longevity pay despite time away from police force

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Tuesday that a Plymouth, Indiana, patrolman should receive the $2,700 in longevity pay he is entitled to from the city under an ordinance. The city cut the payment by two-thirds because the man served eight months on activity duty in the U.S. Air Force.
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Court hears ex-Indiana elections chief's appeal

December 10, 2014
 Associated Press
An attorney for former Secretary of State Charlie White faced tough questioning Tuesday from Indiana's three-judge appeals court during White's latest bid to overturn the voter fraud convictions that forced him from office.
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Prosecutor to seek death penalty for mutilator

December 10, 2014
 Associated Press
A prosecutor intends to seek the death penalty for a southern Indiana man who has confessed to fatally stabbing his girlfriend and mutilating her body, including cooking and eating some of her organs.
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Indiana high court to hear accomplice death appeal

December 10, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear the appeal of three Elkhart men convicted of murder after an accomplice was fatally shot by a homeowner during a break-in.
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State declines to appeal Overstreet competency ruling

December 9, 2014
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General announced Tuesday it will not appeal a special judge’s ruling that a man on death row is not competent and therefore cannot be executed.
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Liquor store owners argue state has Constitutional right to regulate cold beer

December 9, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers Inc., arguing that the state’s interest in regulating alcohol trumps an Equal Protection challenge, has filed an amicus brief in support of Indiana’s law prohibiting convenience stores and gas stations from selling beer cold.
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COA reverses marijuana conviction based on illegal traffic stop

December 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer was mistaken when he pulled over a vehicle that, due to a broken tail light, emitted more white light than red light, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. The statute only requires that some red light be visible, which occurred in this case.
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Court upholds serious violent felon finding, despite not using term ‘SVF’

December 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that because a stipulation to being a serious violent felon did not use the term “serious violent felon,” the state didn’t establish that as his status.
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COA reverses syringe possession conviction due to lack of evidence

December 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the state couldn’t prove that a man intended to use a syringe to inject a legend drug, as is required by the statute to convict him of possession of a syringe, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the man’s conviction. The man intended to use the syringe to inject heroin, which is not covered by the statute.
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Lawyer says no plea deal in Mellencamp son's case

December 9, 2014
 Associated Press
The defense attorney for the oldest son of rock star John Mellencamp says she is seeking a pretrial hearing but no agreement has been reached for him to plead guilty to charges that he badly beat a man.
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DOC credit-time policy does not result in disparate treatment

December 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected an inmate’s argument in his lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Department of Correction’s policy concerning the restoration of credit time for inmates. Because the policy does not result in disparate treatment, the judges affirmed the lower court ruling in favor of the DOC.
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Justices take molestation case that divided Court of Appeals

December 8, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to a Marion County case that split the Court of Appeals as to whether the man’s Class A felony conviction for molesting his girlfriend’s daughter should be upheld.
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COA reverses convictions based on ineffective appellate counsel

December 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s convictions of Class A felony child molesting and Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor based on his sexual advances toward his stepdaughter when she was in junior high and high school. The judges acknowledged as a result of their decision, the stepfather won’t face any legal consequences for those actions, but the state had a duty to present sufficient evidence to support those convictions.
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Ex-prosecutor helps Ball State avert future fraud

December 8, 2014
 Associated Press
A former federal prosecutor and a CPA firm are evaluating Ball State University's internal financial controls and investment portfolio as they create a plan to prevent a repeat of two investment scams that cost the university more than $13 million.
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Inmate seeks early release in student's 1993 death

December 8, 2014
 Associated Press
An inmate convicted in the 1993 robbery and shooting death of a Ball State University student is seeking an early release from prison.
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Attorneys seek competency exam in homicide case

December 8, 2014
 Associated Press
Attorneys for a 20-year-old Fort Wayne man charged with killing a woman in a cemetery and setting her body on fire have requested mental health experts examine him to determine if he is competent to stand trial.
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Clarksville Town Court judge must resign following OWI conviction in Kentucky

December 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court publicly reprimanded Clarksville Town Court Judge Mickey K. Weber Friday and ordered he resign from the bench, effective Dec. 31. Weber pleaded guilty earlier this year to two charges stemming from a drunken-driving incident in Louisville, Kentucky.
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Feds drop case against former Eli Lilly scientists accused of stealing secrets

December 5, 2014
IBJ Staff, J.K. Wall
Federal prosecutors in Indianapolis dropped all charges against two scientists accused of stealing trade secrets worth $55 million from Eli Lilly and Co., according to a court motion made Friday in federal court in Indianapolis.
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Indiana gets nearly $78,000 in Sirius XM settlement

December 5, 2014
IL Staff
Some Indiana residents who have subscribed to Sirius XM Radio Inc. may be entitled to a refund following the satellite radio company’s multi-state settlement regarding claims of misleading advertising and billing practices.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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