Legal News

Suspect in 7 Indiana slayings due in court again

October 29, 2014
 Associated Press
A 43-year-old former Marine who police in Indiana say has confessed to killing seven women is scheduled to appear in court again after refusing to even acknowledge his name at an earlier hearing.
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Court adopts case-by-case approach in subrogation issue

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, after skirting around the issue in 2012, decided that Indiana should use the case-by-case approach to address subrogation claims of landlords’ insurers against negligent tenants.
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Children should remain in home despite grandmother’s felony conviction

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found I.C. 31-19-11-1(c) to be unconstitutional as applied and upheld the adoption of two boys by their maternal grandmother. The judges held that her 1997 felony conviction for neglect of a dependent should not automatically bar her from adopting the children.
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Police had probable cause to arrest man at library for child porn possession

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a man’s possession of child pornography charge was eventually dismissed, his arrest on the matter at a Bloomington library led to other charges. The Court of Appeals Tuesday affirmed the denial of Paul Allen Decker’s motion to suppress, in which he claimed any evidence stemming from that arrest must be suppressed.
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Defense counsel’s move to prosecutor’s side doesn’t require special prosecutor

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s 60-year sentence for shooting and killing his girlfriend after an argument, rejecting his claim that a special prosecutor should have been appointed in his case after his defense counsel took a job with the prosecutor’s office.
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COA dismisses appeal that gave man ‘second bite at apple’

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed a case in which the trial court set aside a previous judgment in order to have a chance to get a new appeal. When doing so, the trial court noted, “hopefully the Court of Appeals wouldn’t frown upon” the judge who did that.
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7th Circuit reverses 2 special conditions with bank fraud conviction

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The government conceded that a man convicted for using fraudulently produced credit cards should not be subjected to suspicionless searches and seizures by authorities, so the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that condition of his supervised release.
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Judges affirm DOE can counterclaim for repayment of student loans

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court that the U.S. Department of Education’s counterclaim for loan repayment, filed in a man’s lawsuit seeking to not have to repay his student loans, is not barred.
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COA agrees sellers must pay $280,000 in damages for ‘downright dangerous’ home

October 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A couple who sold a house they built themselves that contained numerous structural issues is on the hook for $280,000 to the buyers of the home. The Court of Appeals found that the sellers made misrepresentations on their real estate sales disclosure form.
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Judges affirm Indiana retailer owes Levi’s $315,000 after violating policies

October 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
An Indiana company that operates a website selling jeans must pay Levi Strauss North America more than $315,000 after the company violated Levi’s Internet policies for distributors.
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COA: Court must rule on incarcerated father’s request for counsel

October 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed the adoption of a child by the maternal grandparents after finding the trial court violated the father’s due process rights when it did not rule on his request for counsel.
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Indiana Legal Services still planning to hire new executive director by year’s end

October 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Still set on hiring a new executive director by the end of the year, Indiana Legal Services Inc. has narrowed it search to six candidates.
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Justices order COA to reconsider dismissed termination appeals

October 27, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In light of a September ruling in which the Indiana Supreme Court held it had jurisdiction to entertain a biological father’s appeal of an adoption, the justices granted transfer and ordered the Court of Appeals to reconsider two cases.
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Judge rejects sentence modification for ex-cop

October 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana judge has rejected a sentence modification for a former police officer convicted of pointing a gun at his girlfriend during a confrontation in front of his two children.
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Acquitted ex-Ind. trooper sues police, prosecutors

October 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A former Indiana State Police trooper acquitted in the slayings of his wife and two children has sued prosecutors, investigators and others for false imprisonment and other counts.
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Judges reject property owner’s interpretation of tax sale statute

October 24, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the purchaser of property in a tax sale substantially complied with the statutory requirement that the owner of record is notified about the buyer’s intent to petition for a tax deed.
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Simon CEO's bonus reversal still triggers investor suit

October 24, 2014
 Bloomberg News
Seeking to avoid investor litigation, Simon Property Group Inc. earlier this year eliminated a $120 million stock award to Chief Executive Officer David Simon in favor of a performance-based bonus. Now the company and its directors have been sued anyway.
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Student sues Megabus over crash near Indianapolis

October 24, 2014
 Associated Press
A student at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis claiming permanent injuries from a Megabus crash on Interstate 65 is suing the carrier.
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Judge questions $75M NCAA concussion settlement

October 23, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge overseeing a first-of-its-kind head injury settlement with the NCAA expressed concerns Thursday about some terms and the scope of the $75 million deal that encompasses all athletes going back decades.
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Legislative committee recommends making annexations more difficult

October 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The legislative committee examining Indiana’s annexation laws underscored how complex and difficult the issue is when committee members looked at the laws Wednesday. The members took a third of the time allotted for the meeting to decide that a remonstrance should succeed if a simple majority of property owners oppose a municipality’s effort to incorporate their land.
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Democrats push to be on Marion County judge ballot

October 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion County Superior judge elections ruled unconstitutional this month should not proceed Nov. 4 as the current ballot is drawn, according to court pleadings from candidates who were left out of the general election.
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Alternate theories disallowed in trial on 4 deaths

October 23, 2014
 Associated Press
A judge is blocking testimony about other possible suspects during the trial of a man charged with killing four people in a southern Indiana home.
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Man suspected of killing 7 refuses to answer judge

October 23, 2014
 Associated Press
A man who allegedly confessed to killing seven women in Indiana refused to speak or even acknowledge his name to a judge Wednesday, and a sheriff explained later that the suspect was upset his hearing was in open court before dozens of journalists.
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Charges filed in 2nd case in Gary killings

October 22, 2014
 Associated Press
A man who told police he killed seven women in Indiana now faces charges in a second death.
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Zoeller details casino millions funneled to E. Chicago pols

October 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
A former Indiana Democratic Party chairman and a longtime Lake County political activist enriched themselves with millions of dollars in casino revenue, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Wednesday, closing the book on long-running litigation that resulted in a $154,042 settlement payment to the city of East Chicago.
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  1. OK so I'll make this as short as I can. I got a call that my daughter was smoking in the bathroom only her and one other girl was questioned mind you four others left before them anyways they proceeded to interrogate my daughter about smoking and all this time I nor my parents got a phone call,they proceeded to go through her belongings and also pretty much striped searched my daughter including from what my mother said they looked at her Brest without my consent. I am furious also a couple months ago my son hurt his foot and I was never called and it got worse during the day but the way some of the teachers have been treating my kids they are not comfortable going to them because they feel like they are mean or don't care. This is unacceptable in my mind i should be able to send my kids to school without worry but now I worry how the adults there are treating them. I have a lot more but I wanted to know do I have any attempt at a lawsuit because like I said there is more that's just some of what my kids are going through. Please respond. Sincerely concerned single parent

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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