Criminal Case

Pulling a switcheroo leads to felony conviction

December 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who switched seats to help a friend failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he unknowingly put himself in the hot seat.
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Gov. Pence hasn't issued single pardon in 2 years

December 22, 2014
 Associated Press
Gov. Mike Pence, who has said he wants Indiana to be a leader in giving criminals who've served their time a second chance, hasn't granted a single pardon during his first two years in office.
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Inside the Criminal Case: Grand juries in Indiana shrouded by law

December 17, 2014
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
The effectiveness of grand juries has been in the news lately. In one case, a Missouri grand jury failed to indict a police officer in a case involving the death of an unarmed suspect. When inconsistent testimony was raised as a possible justification for this result, many opined that police needed to carry body cameras. However, approximately a week later, a New York grand jury failed to indict another police officer involved in the death of an unarmed suspect where the officer’s interactions with the suspect were caught on a cellphone video. This led lawyers and non-lawyers alike to wonder what happens behind the closed doors of grand juries. This article speaks to how grand juries are used in Indiana.
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Enhancement to sentence upheld by COA

November 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding Indiana’s criminal gang enhancement statute can be understood by individuals of ordinary intelligence, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s challenge to his 175-year aggregate sentence.
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SCOTUS hears case of fisherman caught in Sarbanes-Oxley net

November 19, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A dispute involving six-dozen undersized fish has a group of legal scholars arguing the federal government’s tendency to broadly interpret the criminal code runs the risk of making everyone guilty of an illegal act.
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Judge urges high court to look at counsel assistance during state psychiatric exam

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed citing court precedent that a defendant who was to be examined by the state’s expert based on his insanity defense has no right to the presence of counsel during the psychiatric exam. But Judge Terry Crone argues the Indiana Supreme Court needs to take another look at this issue.
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Judges uphold convictions for death of child at unlicensed home daycare

October 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The state presented sufficient evidence that a Hamilton County woman operated a child care home under the law, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday in affirming her convictions related to a death of a child while in her care.
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No dismissal of charges against county treasurer

September 22, 2014
 Associated Press
A judge has rejected a central Indiana county treasurer's request for the dismissal of criminal charges that he mishandled public money.
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Teen has 1 adjudication overturned, must still pay restitution

August 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A teenager adjudicated as delinquent after it was determined he was in a stolen car was able to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse one of his adjudications due to double jeopardy. But, the teen must still pay restitution to the victims of his crimes.
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Venue change granted for Indy house blast suspect

July 31, 2014
 Associated Press
A judge granted a change of venue Wednesday for the trial of one defendant in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion after prosecutors dropped their objection.
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Dissent: ‘No evidence’ tying convicted man to crime scene

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
While a majority of the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed an Indianapolis man’s trespassing conviction, another judge warned in dissent that the ruling went against the tenet of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
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Curry: 12-hour arrestee probable cause rule unrealistic

July 8, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry told judges Tuesday that a proposed rule requiring a probable cause determination within 12 hours of an arrest in major felony cases would “set up the criminal justice system to fail in many instances.”
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Inside the Criminal Case: Passive vs. forcible resistance

July 2, 2014
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
The Court of Appeals recently brought us the story of a woman, her dog and her not-so Gandhi-like attempt at passive resistance when her dogs were investigated for biting. The question before the Court of Appeals was whether this passive resistance was criminal.
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Odyssey to shut down as Marion County transitions to system

June 13, 2014
Dave Stafford
The state-supported Odyssey case management system and its public online portal mycase.in.gov will go offline Friday evening as Marion County transfers its criminal cases into the system.
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Marion County criminal courts near Odyssey conversion

May 16, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion Superior criminal court workers are training and IT staff and clerks are working overtime preparing for what will be the largest adoption of the Odyssey case management system to date.
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Indy lawyer suspended for 2 years

May 14, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended Indianapolis attorney and developer Paul J. Page from the practice of law for at least two years, although one justice thought he should be disbarred. The suspension stems from his guilty plea to one count of wire fraud in 2013.
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Inside the Criminal Case: SCOTUS rules anonymous 911 call reliable

May 7, 2014
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
The Supreme Court of the United States recently held that an anonymous call to 911 was sufficient to initiate a traffic stop in certain specific circumstances. Navarette v. California, 2014 U.S. Lexis 2930 (2014). The decision set off a minor shockwave in the media with reports that the 5-4 opinion eroded Fourth Amendment protection.
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Former GIPC chief faces forgery, theft counts

May 2, 2014
Jeff Newman, IBJ Staff
The former executive director of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee was charged Thursday with 26 counts of forgery and one count of theft for allegedly misappropriating more than $96,000 of the organization’s money.
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Justices clarify jury taint, mistrial standards

April 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the Indiana Court of Appeals cited three different mistrial standards in a man’s appeal of the denial of his motion for a mistrial, the Indiana Supreme Court took his case to clarify its precedent for trial courts to use to determine whether a mistrial is a cure for a jury taint.
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Justices strike down partial consecutive sentences

April 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana trial court judges do not have discretion to impose partial consecutive sentences, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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Convictions stand related to ‘upskirt’ photographs of teens

March 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the attempted child exploitation convictions of a man who used a camera to take pictures up females' skirts at an Indianapolis mall.
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Justices uphold order criminal defendant answer civil complaint

March 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Wednesday found a Lake Superior judge did not abuse her discretion in ordering a man criminally charged for the hit-and-run death of a woman to respond to her estate’s wrongful death complaint filed against him.
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Court of Appeals saw fewer cases in 2013

March 12, 2014
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals in 2013 received and decided fewer cases than in any of the five prior years, according to the court’s annual report released Tuesday.
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Copyright infringement spurs knife fight in Warrick County

March 12, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A copyright infringement dispute between two out-of-state companies has spurred criminal charges in Warrick County, a place where neither business has facilities, employees or quite possibly ever visited before these charges were brought.
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COA: Teen who shot cows did not mutilate or torture them

January 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday reversed a teenager’s adjudications for cruelty to an animal after finding the evidence was not sufficient to prove he mutilated or tortured either cow he shot.
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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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