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US Supreme Court takes up housing bias case

October 2, 2014
 Associated Press
For the third time in recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider taking away a powerful legal tactic the Obama administration and others have used to combat housing discrimination.
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Appeals court affirms disbarred attorney’s convictions

October 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The South Bend attorney who was disbarred in 2010 and convicted of forgery in 2013 lost his appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday.
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Plainfield facility to house low-risk, first-time offenders

October 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Gov. Mike Pence announced Thursday the conversion of a Plainfield short-term offender program into an individualized program for first-time, lower-risk offenders sentenced to prison.
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Defendant’s breach of plea agreement allows state to back out

October 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed an issue of first impression Thursday: whether the state can withdraw from a plea agreement after the trial court has accepted it. The state was allowed to withdraw its agreement with a defendant after the man refused to testify at his co-conspirator’s trial, which was part of the deal.
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Judge concerned remonstrators may not have enough time to ask for a stay

October 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the annexation by the city of Martinsville of approximately 3,000 acres, finding the remonstrators’ appeal is moot because they did not ask for a stay of the annexation approval. But one judge had concerns that municipality clerks may be able to make an annexation final before remonstrators have enough time to consider requesting a stay.
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Judge convicts northern Indiana man in 2 killings

October 2, 2014
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana man paroled in 2010 after serving time for killing a family friend has been convicted in the fatal shootings of his brother and sister-in-law.
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Federal prosecutors charge 22 in alleged drug ring

October 2, 2014
 Associated Press
Federal authorities said Wednesday they disrupted a major drug trafficking network stretching from Mexico to six U.S. states, and investigators partially credited a Chicago-based task force that focuses on the nexus between Mexican cartels and street gangs.
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Indiana AG proposes home contractor registry

October 1, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana residents looking to hire contractors for home repair or remodeling projects would be able to search a state registry that's among a package of legislative proposals Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Tuesday he's supporting in an effort to boost consumer protections.
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U.S. judge blocks Obamacare tax rule for non-exchange states

October 1, 2014
 Bloomberg News
An Oklahoma federal judge dealt a blow to President Barack Obama’s health care law, invalidating IRS rules aimed at making policies affordable for consumers around the country.
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Judge tosses suit over IU student's disappearance

October 1, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal judge has thrown out the lawsuit filed by the parents of an Indiana University student last seen more than three years ago against two men who were with her the night she vanished.
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Court must reconsider man’s request for credit time

October 1, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court mistakenly believed it could not award educational credit time to a man serving his sentence on home detention, so the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the court to re-evaluate his petition.
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Justices order $7,025 credit applied for father’s arrearage

October 1, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a per curiam decision released Wednesday, the Indiana Supreme Court accepted a case involving owed child support and ordered the father be credited for more than $7,000 seized from his bank account for the arrearage.
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American Judicature Society dissolving after 101 years

October 1, 2014
IL Staff
The American Judicature Society, an organization formed in 1913 to promote a fair justice system, announced Tuesday that it will be shutting down amid challenging times for nonprofits.
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Annual Red Masses bless lawyers, judges and government officials

October 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
With the start of October comes the celebration of the ancient rite of the Red Mass. Two masses, meant to convey God’s blessing on those who serve the law, will be held in Indiana.
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Justices reverse COA, reinstate ex-teacher's attempted seduction charge

October 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
A former high school teacher must face a charge of attempted child seduction for Facebook communications propositioning a 16-year-old student for sex, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, reinstating a case the Court of Appeals had dismissed.
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Judge upholds conviction in southwestern Indiana slaying

October 1, 2014
 Associated Press
A judge has denied a southwestern Indiana man's request to reverse his murder conviction for the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend's father.
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Petition seeks charges in crash that killed 7

October 1, 2014
 Associated Press
A Georgia man hopes an online petition will help persuade a northwestern Indiana prosecutor to file charges against a trucker for a crash that killed seven family members.
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Venue change sought in case of woman's 1975 death

October 1, 2014
 Associated Press
An Indiana man who spent more than 25 years in prison for the death of his second wife is seeking a new location for his trial on charges he killed his first wife in 1975.
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What if high court rejects gay marriage cases?

October 1, 2014
 Associated Press
The fastest and surest path to marriage for same-sex couples in some parts of the United States would be for the U.S. Supreme Court to surprise everyone and decline to get involved in the issue right now.
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JQC files charges against judge following OWI arrest in Kentucky

September 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications filed one count against a southern Indiana town court judge who was arrested and pleaded guilty to operating while intoxicated in Louisville, Kentucky.
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Supreme Court tells judges how to deal with prolific, abusive litigants

September 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court released a per curiam decision Tuesday dismissing the appeal of a man described as a “prolific, abusive litigant” based on the 123 cases he has filed in state court throughout Indiana. In its opinion, the justices also provide guidance to trial courts on how to deal with abusive and vexatious litigation practices.
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Court properly denied grandmother visitation rights

September 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court properly ruled on a case as a petition for grandparent visitation, not as a modification of already established visitation, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday. The judges affirmed the denial of a paternal grandmother’s request for visitation.
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Court erred in ordering insurer to pay costs of cleanup

September 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court misinterpreted a previous ruling involving an insurance coverage dispute for environmental cleanup costs, and as such, erred when it ordered the insurer to pay costs that were incurred as a result of a settlement, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.
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COA split on upholding battery conviction

September 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was divided Tuesday over whether to affirm a man’s conviction of Class C felony battery by means of a deadly weapon following an attack on his son-in-law. The dissenting judge believed the defendant should have been able to include the victim’s prior inconsistent statements at trial.
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Foreclosure notice by newspaper not good enough for COA

September 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A bank’s failure to give proper notification of a foreclosure has kept a lienholder’s judgment alive and created uncertainty as to who holds the title to a property.
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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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