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Pro se defendant wins reversal of restitution order

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A defendant ordered to repay more than $19,000 that a drug task force spent to investigate his methamphetamine manufacturing will not have to make restitution because the state isn’t a victim under the restitution statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

In Jim A. Edsall v. State of Indiana, 57A03-1205-CR-240, Jim Edsall appealed the imposition of six 30-year concurrent sentences of imprisonment in the Department of Correction following his guilty plea to five counts of Class A felony delivery of meth and one count of Class A felony conspiracy to manufacture meth and a restitution order. The charges stemmed from an undercover drug operation that infiltrated Edsall’s manufacturing operation.

Edsall’s guilty plea did not make any reference to restitution, nor was there any reference of it at the guilty plea hearing. At a later sentencing hearing, the state sought $19,581.40 to recover costs of the investigation. Edsall’s counsel didn’t expressly object to the restitution being sought at any point. The trial court imposed the restitution order and the concurrent 30 year-sentences.

The Court of Appeals rejected Edsall’s arguments that the trial court abused its discretion by considering improper aggravating circumstances and failing to consider mitigating ones, and that his sentence was inappropriate based on his character and the nature of the offense and should be revised to 15 years.

But the judges agreed with Edsall that the trial court erred in ordering him to pay restitution. Citing Green v. State, 811 N.E.2d 874, 877 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004), they held that the state is not a victim as contemplated by the restitution statute, Ind. Code 35-50-5-3, so the restitution order wasn’t proper.

 

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  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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