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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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