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Opinions April 19, 2013

April 19, 2013
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Razien McCullough v. State of Indiana
49A02-1210-CR-789
Criminal. Affirms two murder convictions and a 115-year aggregate sentence, holding that the state presented sufficient evidence to disprove McCullough’s claim of self-defense and that the sentence was not inappropriate given the nature of the crimes and McCullough’s character.
 
State of Indiana v. Douglas E. Shipman
59A01-1210-CR-471
Criminal. Reverses and remands the trial court’s grant of a motion to suppress evidence seized during the execution of a search warrant at Shipman’s home, holding that the search warrant was supported by probable cause based on a tip from a juvenile burglary suspect who had witnessed large quantities of marijuana in Shipman’s home.

Gregory Garrett v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1208-CR-666
Criminal. Affirms Garrett’s conviction for Class A misdemeanor battery.

Eddie Hargrow v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1208-CR-697
Criminal. Affirms sentencing Hargrow to the maximum of 65 years for murder. Ruled the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Hargrow and that the sentence was not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offense and character.

David Smigielski v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A05-1209-CR-492
Criminal. Affirms conviction for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a Class C misdemeanor, and for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated after having been convicted of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a Class D felony.

Michael Warren v. State of Indiana (NFP)

18A02-1210-CR-870
Criminal. Dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Ruled the trial court erred when it granted Warren leave to file a belated notice of appeal of the probation revocation order.

Philip M. Reed v. State of Indiana (NFP)
32A05-1208-CR-426
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony operating a motor vehicle after driving privileges are forfeited for life. Found trial counsel provided effective assistance.

Darius Washington v. Indiana Department of Correction (NFP)
52A02-1204-SC-796
Small Claim. Affirms judgment for the Indiana Department of Correction after Washington filed a notice of claim regarding the loss of her property. Found the trial court did not err by entering judgment in favor of the DOC or by denying Washington’s motion to transport.

Kenneth Schaefer v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1206-CR-468
Criminal. Affirms convictions of murder and Class C felony battery. Found the trial court did not abuse its discretion by refusing to give Schaefer’s tendered instruction to the jury regarding voluntary manslaughter and sudden heat. Also ruled Schaefer’s sentence to an aggregate of 60 years is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and his character.

The Indiana Supreme Court and Tax Court issued no opinions prior to IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued no Indiana decisions prior to IL deadline.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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