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Majority upholds violent sexual predator finding

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An Indiana Court of Appeals panel disagreed as to whether the failure of a defendant’s counsel to press for the statutory requirement for a hearing on a sexually violent predator finding was a procedural default that waived the appellate court’s consideration of the issue.

In Matthew A. Baugh v. State of Indiana, No. 18A04-0911-CR-621, the majority determined Matthew Baugh waived his claim that the trial court failed to comply with the statutory requirements for making a sexually violent predator determination. Chief Judge John Baker and Judge Terry Crone ruled the issue waived because Baugh failed to object to the determination at sentencing.

Baugh was evaluated by two doctors, who determined he suffered from a personality disorder and was likely to re-offend. The trial court reviewed the doctors’ reports and found Baugh was a sexually violent predator within the meaning of the statute.

Judge Carr Darden dissented, writing, “Given the nature of the offenses constituting Baugh’s criminal history, I believe that consequences as severe as the ‘violent sexual predator’ label and the lifetime registration requirement should subject the doctors’ conclusions to the crucible of cross-examination.”

Judge Darden found the matter to be a fundamental error and questioned how a constitutionally competent attorney could allow his client to suffer the consequences Baugh did without advising him of the statutorily required hearing. The judge wanted the trial court to conduct a hearing with the doctors or inform Baugh of the statutory requirement for the hearing and get an express waiver of the experts testifying at the hearing.

The appellate court affirmed Baugh’s consecutive sentences for two convictions of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor. The judges also held his convictions don’t violate the Indiana Constitution’s prohibition of double jeopardy.
 

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  1. The is an unsigned editorial masquerading as a news story. Almost everyone quoted was biased in favor of letting all illegal immigrants remain in the U.S. (Ignoring that Obama deported 3.5 million in 8 years). For some reason Obama enforcing part of the immigration laws was O.K. but Trump enforcing additional parts is terrible. I have listed to press conferences and explanations of the Homeland Security memos and I gather from them that less than 1 million will be targeted for deportation, the "dreamers" will be left alone and illegals arriving in the last two years -- especially those arriving very recently -- will be subject to deportation but after the criminals. This will not substantially affect the GDP negatively, especially as it will take place over a number of years. I personally think this is a rational approach to the illegal immigration problem. It may cause Congress to finally pass new immigration laws rationalizing the whole immigration situation.

  2. Mr. Straw, I hope you prevail in the fight. Please show us fellow American's that there is a way to fight the corrupted justice system and make them an example that you and others will not be treated unfairly. I hope you the best and good luck....

  3. @ President Snow - Nah, why try to fix something that ain't broken??? You do make an excellent point. I am sure some Mickey or Minnie Mouse will take Ruckers seat, I wonder how his retirement planning is coming along???

  4. Can someone please explain why Judge Barnes, Judge Mathias and Chief Judge Vaidik thought it was OK to re weigh the evidence blatantly knowing that by doing so was against the rules and went ahead and voted in favor of the father? I would love to ask them WHY??? I would also like to ask the three Supreme Justices why they thought it was OK too.

  5. How nice, on the day of my car accident on the way to work at the Indiana Supreme Court. Unlike the others, I did not steal any money or do ANYTHING unethical whatsoever. I am suing the Indiana Supreme Court and appealed the failure of the district court in SDIN to protect me. I am suing the federal judge because she failed to protect me and her abandonment of jurisdiction leaves her open to lawsuits because she stripped herself of immunity. I am a candidate for Indiana Supreme Court justice, and they imposed just enough sanction so that I am made ineligible. I am asking the 7th Circuit to remove all of them and appoint me as the new Chief Justice of Indiana. That's what they get for dishonoring my sacrifice and and violating the ADA in about 50 different ways.

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