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Opinions March 18, 2014

March 18, 2014
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Indiana Supreme Court
David S. Delagrange v. State of Indiana
49S04-1304-CR-249
Criminal. Affirms convictions of four counts of Class C felony attempted child exploitation, finding sufficient evidence supports them. The state did not need to show Delagrange actually succeeded in capturing images of uncovered genitals, just that he took a “substantial step” toward doing so.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Donald Murdock v. State of Indiana
48A02-1306-CR-565
Criminal. Affirms finding that Murdock violated his probation terms when he committed Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement after running from a police officer who told him to stop. Well-established Indiana precedent holds that a person may not flee from a police officer who has told him to stop, even if the order is unlawful. Judge Mathias dissents.

Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board, Kimble L. Richardson, George Brenner, Andrew Harner, Geneva Osawe, Rex Stockton, Carla Gaff-Clark, and The State of Indiana v. Elaine Williams
48A05-1304-PL-185
Civil plenary. Affirms the revocation of mental health counselor Elaine Williams’ license. The board afforded Williams fair proceedings and acted within its authority in imposing the sanction of revocation. Finds the trial court also impermissibly reweighed the credibility of the witnesses and substituted its judgment for that of the board when it overturned the revocation after conducting a second hearing.

In the Matter of A.G. and A.K. Children Alleged to be in Need of Services, M.K. v. Indiana Department of Child Services
82A05-1306-JC-297
Juvenile.  Affirms adjudication that A.G. and A.K. are children in need of services. The court’s findings support the remaining conclusions, which support the judgment. Rejects mother’s argument that the rule in Gash v. Kohm, 476 N.E.2d 910, 913 (Ind. Ct. App. 1985) – that the privilege against self-incrimination does not prohibit the trier of fact in a civil case from drawing adverse inferences from a witness’s refusal to testify – should not apply in CHINS proceedings.

Filiberto Rivera v. State of Indiana (NFP)
82A04-1305-CR-264
Criminal. Affirms convictions and sentence for Class C felony burglary, Class D felony theft, and two counts of Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Edgardo Jose Guido v. State of Indiana (NFP)
45A03-1307-CR-286
Criminal. Affirms conviction and sentence for Class B felony incest.

Shawn McWhorter v. State of Indiana (NFP)
73A01-1309-PC-375
Post conviction. Affirms denial of petition for post-conviction relief.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: Bry.B. and B.B. (minor children) and A.B. (Mother) and M.B. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)

54A01-1310-JT-450
Juvenile. Affirms involuntary termination of parental rights.

Cecil Koger and Koger's, Inc. v. T&C, Inc., d/b/a I-70 Wrecker Service (NFP)
55A01-1305-CT-187
Civil tort. Affirms partial grant and partial denial of Koger’s motion for summary judgment on certain claims of T&C Inc. in its complaint for damages.

Ronnie D. Conley v. State of Indiana (NFP)
57A03-1308-CR-335
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Class B felony dealing in a Schedule I, II or III controlled substance.

Harold Weir v. Riverwalk Holdings, LTD (NFP)
18A02-1310-CC-853
Civil collection. Affirms summary judgment for Riverwalk Holdings in an action to collect an indebtedness arising from a credit card account assigned to Riverwalk.  

Dennis Hankins v. State of Indiana (NFP)
30A01-1305-CR-234
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony attempted burglary.

Gayle Clark, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
76A05-1305-CR-261
Criminal. Affirms sentence for Class D felony possession of marijuana and Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

Eric Lewis v. State of Indiana (NFP)
36A04-1309-CR-464
Criminal. Affirms five-year sentence for Class C felony nonsupport of a dependent child.

Robert Fultz v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A03-1311-CR-437
Criminal. Affirms sentence following guilty plea to Class D felony theft and admittance to being a habitual offender.

Henry Woods v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1308-CR-701
Criminal. Affirms order Woods pay $1,600 in restitution for damage to Bianca Cunningham’s vehicle.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: C.O. (Minor Child) and T.E. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (NFP)
06A04-1307-JT-367
Juvenile. Affirms termination of parental rights.

Tony M. Castoreno, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
12A04-1306-CR-290
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony battery by means of a deadly weapon and Class A misdemeanor unlawful possession of a firearm by a domestic batterer.

Timothy R. Hartwell v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A04-1304-CR-208
Criminal. Affirms finding of guilty but mentally ill of Class C felony criminal stalking.

Renee Berry, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Jeffery Berry, Deceased v. Duke Energy Indiana, Inc., d/b/a Duke Energy (NFP)
49A02-1306-CT-483
Civil tort. Affirms judgment in favor of Duke Energy Indiana on Berry’s complaint alleging negligence.

The Indiana Tax Court posted no decisions by IL deadline. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals posted no Indiana opinions by IL deadline.
 

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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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