Criminal case

Miscarriage an 'act' in intimidation charge

January 22, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed today a man's conviction of and sentence for intimidation after he threatened his wife, who recently miscarried. The appellate court ruled the miscarriage fulfilled the "act" part of the charge as contemplated by Indiana statute.
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COA adopts 'compromise approach' of theory

January 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man's conviction of child molesting, ruling he failed to prove the trial court erred by excluding certain evidence regarding his victim.
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COA: No credit for pretrial home detention

January 14, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court's decision not to award a man credit time for pretrial home detention, finding the man's rights weren't violated under the federal or Indiana constitutions.
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COA reverses assisting criminal conviction

January 5, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a woman's conviction of misdemeanor assisting a criminal Jan. 2 because the state failed to define "fugitive from justice" and prove the criminal was charged with an offense in another state and fled to Indiana.
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Justices split in traffic-stop decision

January 5, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Supreme Court justices were split in their decision issued Dec. 31 on whether a defendant's state and federal constitutional rights were violated when police questioned him about weapons and drugs after he was pulled over for a traffic violation.
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Judges disagree on intent issue in rape trial

January 1, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed as to whether a defendant in a rape case put his intent at issue during trial by attempting to show his victim consented to sex with him.
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Judges differ in interpretation of earlier ruling

December 31, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed today as to whether a man's convictions of attempted sexual misconduct with a minor and attempted dissemination of matter harmful to minors should be reversed because his intended victim was actually a police officer conducting an online sting operation.
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Mom's promoting prostitution sentence stands

December 30, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the 17-year sentence for a woman convicted of prostituting her daughter, finding her sentence was appropriate and that an even longer sentence could be justified.
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COA upholds violent offender registration

December 29, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the state's sex and violent offender registry doesn't violate the Indiana Constitution by requiring violent offenders to register for a 10-year period or for life.
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COA: Let a sex offender stipulate

December 23, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A convicted sex offender accused of failing to register will get a new trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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7th Circuit rules on sex offender registration

December 22, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A reasonable grace period is required before the federal government can enhance a convicted sex offender's punishment for not registering after a move to a new state, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA: Warrant didn't need to be admitted

December 22, 2008
Rebecca Berfanger
In a case of first impression involving whether an active arrest warrant must be admitted into evidence when the defendant has not challenged the warrant's validity, the Court of Appeals has affirmed an appellant-defendant's conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana that an officer discovered during a routine traffic stop.
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Men took substantial steps to commit crime

December 18, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals addressed the same issue in two separate Indiana cases of men chatting on the Internet with people they believed to be teen girls: whether there was evidence the men had taken "substantial steps" toward committing the crimes of enticing a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.
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Judges disagree on public intox conviction

December 5, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a woman's conviction of public intoxication, but the judge dissenting in the case believed the majority reweighed the credibility of the witnesses and their testimony to reach their decision.
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Man can't collaterally attack sentence again

December 4, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has again denied a man's attempt to have his drug conviction overturned or sentence reduced because he had used the one 28 U.S.C. Section 2255 motion he was allowed and he can't challenge his sentence again under the same section.
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7th Circuit cautions about propensity inference

November 20, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today affirmed a man's drug convictions with intent to distribute, but questioned how a previous drug conviction showed the man had intent or absence of mistake in the instant case.
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Court orders re-trial after jury instruction error

November 13, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a re-trial for a man convicted of attempted murder after ruling today the trial court failed to properly instruct the jury on accomplice liability.
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COA affirms sexually violent predator findings

October 28, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that two defendants are sexually violent predators, ruling the state had produced sufficient evidence to support the determinations under the versions of the sexually violent predator statute used by the trial courts in each case.
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COA revises child molesting sentence

October 23, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man's convictions of child molesting, but reduced his sentence because he can't be considered among the worst offenders to justify the maximum sentence.
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COA: Collateral estoppel not applicable

October 2, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a motion to suppress evidence because the defendant couldn't prove collateral estoppel precluded the trial court from denying his motion.
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Convictions don't violate double jeopardy

September 3, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed today a post-conviction court's denial of a defendant's petition for relief, finding his convictions of burglary and attempted armed robbery didn't violate Indiana's double jeopardy clause.
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7th Circuit panel opines practical tips

April 4, 2008
Michael Hoskins
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has some practical advice for criminal law attorneys who go before federal judges: have handy a copy of federal criminal procedure rules, particularly those involving plea discussions at sentencing, and don't be afraid to correct or point out omissions to a judge.
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7th Circuit rules on multiplicitous convictions

November 21, 2007
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals encountered for the first time the issue of whether a single incident of firearm possession can support multiple convictions under United States Code when the defendant is included in more than one class of people who are disqualified under the statute from possessing firearms.
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  1. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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