ILNews

Pleas as mitigating circumstance allowed

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2007
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The Indiana Supreme Court granted rehearing in a case to clarify that defendants who plead guilty do not give up the opportunity to claim on appeal that the trial court should have considered the guilty plea a mitigating circumstance, even if defendants fail to bring up this claim during sentencing.

Alexander Anglemyer sought rehearing following the Supreme Court's decision Alexander J. Anglemyer v. State of Indiana, 43S05-0606-CR-230, affirming his sentences for robbery and battery. Anglemyer was charged with robbery as a Class B felony and battery as a Class C felony for assaulting and robbing a pizza delivery driver. Anglemyer pleaded guilty, and the trial court handed down a 16-year sentence.

Anglemyer appealed, alleging the trial court overlooked his guilty plea as a mitigating factor. Anglemyer never mentioned his guilty plea as a mitigating factor at his sentencing hearing. In Anglemyer's first appeal, the Supreme Court stated the trial court doesn't abuse its discretion when it doesn't consider a mitigating factor that was not raised at sentencing; because he did not bring it up then, the alleged mitigating circumstance was precluded from review in the previous appeal before the Supreme Court.

In this rehearing, the Supreme Court addressed that guilty pleas can be an exception to this issue. Justice Robert Rucker wrote that although Anglemyer did not mention his guilty plea as a mitigating factor during sentencing, this doesn't prevent him from raising the issue for the first time on appeal.

A defendant has to establish the mitigating factor is not only supported by the record but also that the mitigating evidence is significant. Anglemyer received the benefit of a reduced sentence and charges for pleading guilty, but he tried to minimize his culpability for the crimes by citing his unemployment, mental impairment, and history of emotional and behavioral problems.

In this case, Anglemyer hasn't shown his guilty plea was a significant mitigating circumstance, and the Supreme Court concluded the trial court did not abuse its discretion by omitting reference to the guilty plea when imposing the sentence, wrote Justice Rucker.
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  1. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  2. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  3. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  4. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  5. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

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