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Neglect conviction, sentence in child’s death affirmed

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The conviction and sentence of a Delaware County woman whose stepdaughter died due to neglect was not inappropriate, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

Brittany McConniel was convicted of neglect of a dependent as a class A felony, after her 9-year-old stepdaughter Lauren died at IU Riley Children’s Hospital. Lauren had been brought to the hospital in an abused and emaciated state. She weighed 28 pounds at the time of her admission.

“The record reveals that Lauren’s suffering was significant and that she suffered for a considerable period of time,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote for the unanimous panel in Brittany L. McConniel v. State of Indiana, 18A02-1108-CR-733. “McConniel’s extremely abusive behavior toward and neglect of Lauren over a period of months is beyond shocking.”

Brown’s 34-page opinion recounts in detail McConniel’s treatment of Lauren while rejecting her arguments that the court abused its discretion in a denying McConniel’s motion for funds for expert witnesses and challenging the sufficiency of evidence and the appropriateness of the sentence in light of the offense and McConniel’s character.

“While the record reveals that McConniel does not have a criminal history, the nature of the offense and the character of the offender revealed by the evidence presented leads us to the conclusion that the sentence imposed by the trial court is not inappropriate. For the foregoing reasons, we affirm McConniel’s conviction and sentence,” Brown wrote.
 
 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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