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Longtime Marion County judge set to retire

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One of the first women elected as a trial judge in Indiana is preparing to leave the bench after 30 years.

At the end of this year, Marion Superior Judge Patricia Gifford will hang up the robe she's worn for three decades in presiding over a court that's handled mostly felony cases. One of her most nationally recognized cases came in 1992 when she presided over the rape trial of former boxing champion Mike Tyson.

The 1968 Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis graduate has been a pioneer for women lawyers, according to her colleagues. She worked as a deputy attorney general and Marion County deputy prosecutor after law school, and she became one of the first women in the U.S. assigned to prosecute only sex offense cases. Judge Gifford became a referee for the Marion Juvenile Court in 1975 and then ran successfully for Superior Judge, taking the bench Jan. 1, 1979, and becoming the sixth woman to be elected to a Hoosier trial court.

A retirement reception is planned for Judge Gifford from 6-9 p.m. Nov. 24, at the Columbia Club in downtown Indianapolis. The event is open to the public and attendees can RSVP at (317) 327-4520. Contributions are encouraged at the door and donations also can be mailed to the Patricia Gifford Retirement Party courtesy of attorney James C. Clark of the law firm Clark Quinn Moses Scott & Grahn, One Indiana Square, Suite 2200, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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