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Term of imprisonment reduced by half after COA rules sentence does not fit the crime

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A man who pleaded guilty to child molesting had his sentence halved by the Indiana Court of Appeals on the grounds that the sentence imposed by the trial court was an outlier.

The COA reversed and remanded with instructions the trial court’s sentence in Calvin Merida v. State of Indiana, 69A01-1203-CR-110. It found the nature of the offense and the character of the defendant did not warrant the 60-year aggregate term of imprisonment assessed by the lower court.

Calvin Merida pleaded guilty to two counts of child molesting, as Class A felonies, for abusing his adopted daughter. The trial court sentenced him to 30 years imprisonment for each of the two counts with the sentences to run consecutively for an aggregate term of imprisonment of 60 years.

Merida appealed, challenging the appropriateness of his sentence.

In reviewing the case, the COA pointed out there was no evidence that Merida’s conduct was particularly violent although the victim is said to suffer from “life-altering anxiety” as a result of the offenses becoming known. Also with respect to his character, the court found he has no prior criminal history and did graduate from high school and has maintained steady and well-paid employment.

Citing in its role to “leaven the outliers,” the COA revised Merida’s sentence. It reversed the trial court’s sentencing order and remanded with instructions to revise the sentencing order to run his two 30-year sentences concurrent for an aggregate 30-year term.

Judge Terry Crone concurred in part and dissented. He disagreed with the majority’s decision to run Merida’s two 30-year sentences concurrently.

Instead, he wrote, he would have remanded with instructions that Merida’s sentence be revised so that eight years of the 30-year sentence on the second count would run consecutive to the 30-year sentence on the first count and the remainder would run concurrent for a total executed sentence of 38 years.

Crone acknowledged that Indiana Code 35-50-1-2 does not specifically authorize partially consecutive sentences, but he believes the statute should be interpreted to provide trial courts with flexibility in sentencing.

“If it is determined that the statute as currently written does not authorize partially consecutive sentences,” Crone wrote, “it is my hope that the legislature would amend the statute accordingly and give trial courts and appellate courts an important tool for crafting appropriate sentences in cases like this one,”   

 

 

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  • Law
    WAKE UP AMERICA All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. IT'S TIME FOR ALL AMERICANS TO STAND AND SPEAK UP MUST READ ARTICLES The Infallible Prosecutor: Google it 10,000 innocent people convicted each year Scalia's death row lunacy: Google it Most registered sex offenders are innocent www.wikipedia.org Type censorship in the U.S. in the search box IF YOU DON'T KNOW YOUR RIGHTS YOU DON'T HAVE ANY Jury nullification: A fundamental right! Indiana Constitution: Article1: Section 19: In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts. The 9th and 10th amendments to the constitution of the United States means the same thing. An unjust law is not a law at all and any person charged with violating an unjust law has not violated any law and should be found not guilty simply because the law is unjust! WE MUST PROTECT OUR CONSTITUTIONS ntra
  • Constitution:
    Judge4s and courts are always crying, make laws so we can convict everyone the cops arrest, guilty or innocent, we don't care we want convictions. Why don't the courts and judges petition congress to repeal stupid nonsense laws, especially thos related to sex offenders! Reading those laws is like reading a joke book and they trample our constitutional rights and believe me people, you lose one right, soon you will lose all rights! Besides most sex offenders are innocent, as far as I am concerned the only way a person can commit a sex offense is to actually have some form of sex. Sex offender laws are not just unconstitutional, they are illegal, overbroad, ambiguous and assinine!!!

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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