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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. 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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