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Sentences imposed on Anderson juveniles in double homicide reduced

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Two Anderson youths convicted for their roles in the shooting deaths of a couple they robbed of money and marijuana may someday be freed from prison after the Indiana Supreme Court significantly reduced their sentences Monday.

In separate unanimous rulings, the court reduced sentences for Jacob Fuller and Martez Brown. Fuller was 15 and Brown 16 when they were arrested along with ringleader Na-Son Smith, then 18, and charged with the murder of Stephen Streeter and Keya Prince in their Anderson home.

Writing both opinions, Justice Robert Rucker found that Brown’s and Fuller’s 150-year sentences were within Madison Circuit Judge David Happe’s discretion, but the court’s review “ultimately boils down to the appellate court’s 'collective sense of what is appropriate, not a product of a deductive reasoning process,'" Rucker wrote, citing Cardwell v. State, 895 N.E.2d 1219, 1224 (Ind. 2008).

“We conclude that Brown should receive … a total aggregate sentence of 80 years imprisonment,” Rucker wrote in Martez Brown v. State of Indiana, 48S02-1406-CR-363.

In Jacob Fuller v.State of Indiana, 48S02-1406-CR-364, the court followed similar reasoning but remanded for Fuller to be resentenced to 85 years in prison.

"Although only a year older than Fuller, Brown unlike Fuller was an accomplice — a factor that we found particularly important. Instead Fuller was one of the actual shooters," Rucker wrote. The record shows Fuller was the first to shoot during the robbery, firing a gun into Streeter's chest, because he feared the victims might recognize the robbers.

Imposing the maximum allowable 150-year sentence "means denial of hope; it means that good behavior and character improvement are immaterial; it means that whatever the future might hold in store for the mind and spirit of the [juvenile] convict, he will remain in prison for the rest of his days," the court held, citing Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S.

 
 








 
 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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