Sentence

Expungement bid for 1975 crime fails at 7th Circuit

August 28, 2015
Dave Stafford

A career criminal lost his appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that sought to throw out a 1975 conviction.

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Life sentence ordered in deadly Indianapolis house blast

August 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The man convicted of planning a massive Indianapolis house explosion that killed two neighbors was sentenced Friday to life without parole.
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Convicted wife killer gets 47 years for 2nd wife's death

July 30, 2015
 Associated Press
A LaPorte man convicted of killing a former wife in 1979 has been sentenced to 47 years for killing another wife.
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Judge’s failure to address killers’ upbringings requires resentencing

July 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
Two men sentenced to life in prison for the 2000 murder of a 73-year-old nearly deaf Hammond gun store owner must be resentenced, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Law sending low-level offenders to counties raises questions

July 6, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana counties are expecting to see increases in their inmate populations under a new law that will send low-level offenders to county jails, work release or home detention instead of to prison, the South Bend Tribune reported Sunday.
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Tim Durham fails to convince judge to reduce 50-year sentence

June 29, 2015
Scott Olson
Convicted Ponzi scheme leader Tim Durham failed Friday afternoon in his bid to get his 50-year prison sentence reduced.
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Judges deny sentence modifications, but for different reasons

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday that neither of two men who petitioned in late 2013 to have their 1997 sentences modified are entitled to a modification, but the judges' reasoning for the denials differed.
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Justices reverse life sentence based on error by judge

June 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court upheld a Gary man’s convictions related to the death of a woman he met at a bar, but it reversed the sentence of life without possibility of parole because the trial court’s sentencing order lacked a personal statement from the judge that the sentence is the appropriate one for the defendant.
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Jury foreman sent to jail for 30 days for using cellphone

June 12, 2015
 Associated Press
The foreman of a North Carolina jury is spending 30 days in jail because he used his cellphone in the jury room.
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Justices find nature of murders supports death penalty

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Gary man who shot and killed his wife and her two children at close range will remain on death row, the Indiana Supreme Court concluded Wednesday.
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Man’s life without parole sentence upheld

May 20, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
There is sufficient evidence to affirm a Fulton County man’s sentence of life without parole for his connection in the murder of an elderly woman during a home invasion, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
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Justices acquit two involved in fistfight turned fatal

May 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis teen and another man convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for their roles in a planned beatdown that ended with a fatal gunshot will be freed after the Indiana Supreme Court reversed their convictions and ordered them acquitted.
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Boston bombing jury has question hours into deliberations

May 14, 2015
 Associated Press
Jurors considering the fate of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a complicated question Thursday on the first full day of deliberations.
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Former Indiana police chief gets 2 years for stealing cash

May 13, 2015
 Associated Press
The former police chief of a southeastern Indiana city has been sentenced to two years in prison for stealing $75,000 in cash that officers seized during criminal investigations.
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Revised sentencing statute not applicable to defendant, COA holds

May 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man committed his crime in 1999, well before the effective date of the new Indiana criminal code, the new sentencing statute does not apply to him, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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7th Circuit wants rationale for sentence

May 5, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant was unable to get his revocation of probation overturned, but he is heading back to court for another sentencing after the District judge failed to give reasons for imposing a two-year jail term.
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COA orders woman’s sentence revised to include credit time

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found Thursday that a trial court incorrectly calculated the sentence a woman should serve in the Department of Correction after she had her probation revoked.
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Revised sentence modification statute not applicable in defendant’s case

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not err in denying a man’s petition to modify his sentence after finding that the current version of the sentencing modification statute is not applicable to his sentence, which he began serving in 1989. The Indiana Court of Appeals panel relied on a January decision by its colleagues to affirm the denial of Mitchell Swallows’ petition.
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Boston Marathon bomber's lawyer urges jury to spare his life

April 27, 2015
 Associated Press
A lawyer for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev urged a jury Monday to spare the young man's life, portraying him as "a good kid" who was led astray by his belligerent older brother.
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Justices affirm LWOP sentence, admission of suicide note

April 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A southern Indiana man challenging his robbery and murder convictions and sentence to spend the rest of his life in prison lost his appeal before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday. The justices rejected the man’s claim that his sentence should be reduced to a term of years.
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Death penalty sought in suspected serial killings

April 17, 2015
 Associated Press
Prosecutors in Crown Point are seeking the death penalty against a Gary man charged in the slayings of two women and suspected in the deaths of five others.
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Hope town marshal to spend 2 weeks in jail

April 17, 2015
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana town marshal will spend two weeks in jail after a jury in Columbus convicted him of felony misconduct and misdemeanor false informing.
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7th Circuit: No plain error in not applying 'safety valve' in sentencing

April 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Whether firearms belonging to co-conspirators in a drug ring attributed to a defendant for purposes of the firearm sentence enhancement can be considered for a two-level reduction in her offense level under the so-called “safety valve” for nonviolent, first-time drug offenders is a matter of first impression for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. But the judges declined to address the issue because the woman failed to raise it at sentencing.
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Judge reduces convicted kidnapper's sentence; man to be freed

April 13, 2015
 Associated Press
A northwest Indiana judge has cleared the way for a man serving three life sentences on rape and kidnapping convictions to be freed after nearly four decades in prison.
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COA revises sentence for molestation of stepson

April 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found sufficient evidence as well as no errors by the trial court in affirming five molestation convictions of a man involving his stepson. But, the judges believed his nearly 100-year sentence needs revised.
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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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