Legal News

Officers’ entry into home to chase bloodied dog unreasonable, justices rule

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that drug evidence obtained by police after they entered a home without a warrant to capture an aggressive dog should not have been admitted at the defendant’s trial. The justices held the search violated Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution.
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Indiana responds to convicted ex-officer's appeal

October 22, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana has responded to a former Indianapolis police officer's appeal of his convictions in a fatal drunken driving crash.
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SCOTUS denial of cases opens door to new same-sex-couple issues

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Indiana, the courts will have to settle issues and questions that will arise in other areas, such as family law.
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Attorneys debate impact of reality crime TV shows on the judicial process

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The reality television show “Cold Justice” linked Earl Taylor to the 1975 murder of his first wife, Kathy Taylor. Dennis Majewski, Earl Taylor's attorney, said the TV program carried by the TNT cable network, and a follow-up newspaper article that told viewers the episode was available on YouTube, led him to doubt he could find an untainted jury in Vigo County.
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Lawmakers in no rush to fix Marion County’s judicial selection process

October 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion County’s unique power-sharing judicial-election system won’t be fixed anytime soon, even though a federal judge has ruled the four-decade-old system is unconstitutional.
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Pharmacist’s snooping is a prescription for trouble

October 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
Walgreen’s appeal of $1.8M judgment in favor of customer raises patient privacy issues.
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When municipal growth clashes with property owners, the result is annexation headaches

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A 644-acre swath of rural Hancock County land is at the heart of a contentious annexation battle that illustrates what municipalities say is the need to get control of property before development happens. The case also brings to light what may be a shift in the judiciary’s attitude toward remonstrators.
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Court hearing set for Gary man linked to 7 deaths

October 21, 2014
 Associated Press
A Gary man who police say confessed to killing one woman, helped investigators find six other bodies and indicated there may be more is scheduled to make his first court appearance.
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Judge must face federal lawsuit over drug court detentions

October 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
Clark Circuit Judge Jerome Jacobi must face a federal lawsuit from drug court participants who allege they were improperly detained or unlawfully arrested as participants in the problem-solving court he oversaw.
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Split COA reverses denial of post-conviction relief

October 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
A defense attorney’s failure to raise the consecutive sentencing limitation prejudiced his client, the majority of a Court of Appeals panel ruled, reversing denial of post-conviction relief for a man convicted of multiple burglaries. The court remanded for resentencing to trim six years off a 28-year prison term.
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Court of Appeals to hear arguments at IU Maurer

October 21, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana University Maurer School of Law will host an oral argument of the Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday at the school’s moot court.
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Error in admitting drug conviction was harmless, 7th Circuit rules

October 20, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a witness’s changed testimony did not open the door wide enough to allow the introduction of a defendant’s prior drug record, the prosecution’s case was still substantial without the improper evidence so the defendant’s federal conviction will stand.
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Indiana justices to hear school bus fees appeal

October 20, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether a public school district may charge parents a fee to transport children to and from school.
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Elkhart teens, amici seek appeal of murder convictions

October 20, 2014
Dave Stafford
The felony murder convictions of two Elkhart County teens that splintered the Court of Appeals should be heard by the Indiana Supreme Court, the defendants and amicus filers say.
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State appeals ruling invalidating Marion County judicial election law

October 20, 2014
Dave Stafford
The state is appealing a federal judge’s ruling this month declaring Marion County’s Superior judicial election statute unconstitutional.
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Judge pushes for full-time public defender office

October 20, 2014
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana judge says his county needs a full-time public defender office to ensure those who can't afford attorneys receive strong legal representation.
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Justices will decide privacy case on hotel records

October 20, 2014
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States agreed Monday to referee a dispute over police access to hotels' guest information without first getting a search warrant.
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Brother of former NFL player enters plea agreement

October 20, 2014
 Associated Press
The brother of a former NFL player has agreed under a deal with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to two counts of a 44-count indictment against him and receive a 14-year prison sentence.
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Drug abuse symposium attracts 800

October 17, 2014
IL Staff
About 800 Indiana health professional, lawmakers, law-enforcement officials and others gathered in Indianapolis Friday for the beginning of a two-day symposium focused on combating prescription drug abuse.
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US to recognize same-sex marriages in Indiana, 6 other states

October 17, 2014
The federal government will recognize same-sex marriages in seven more states and extend federal benefits to those couples, the Justice Department said Friday.
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BMV lawyers defend embattled state agency

October 17, 2014
 Associated Press
Lawyers for the embattled Bureau of Motor Vehicles are speaking out this week in the ongoing legal battles over overcharges by the state agency.
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Justices uphold fired DWD employee’s ban from executive branch employment

October 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A fired Indiana Department of Workforce Development employee who argued that she shouldn’t be sanctioned and barred from future executive branch employment because of her misuse of state property lost her appeal before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday.
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Law firm establishes diversity fellowship at IU McKinney

October 16, 2014
IL Staff
Bose McKinney & Evans LLP has created a new diversity fellowship for first-year students at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
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Rush OKs media coverage for National Adoption Day

October 16, 2014
IL Staff
Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush has approved still photography, video and audio coverage of uncontested adoption proceedings in honor of National Adoption Day Nov. 22.
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DC attorney to discuss 1st Amendment and Internet at Wabash College summit

October 16, 2014
IL Staff
A Washington, D.C., attorney and Wabash College graduate will deliver the inaugural keynote address during the school’s Public Discourse Summit next week.
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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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