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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. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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