New criminal code not applicable to offenses committed prior to enactment

April 8, 2015

The Indiana General Assembly explicitly stated that the revised criminal code does not apply to penalties, crimes or proceedings that began before the effective date of July 1, 2014, so a man is not entitled to be sentenced under the more-favorable criminal code, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

Bruce Schaadt sold methamphetamine in two separate transactions to a confidential informant in April 2013. He was charged in July 2013 and convicted in July 2014 of two counts of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex and one count of Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance. He received an aggregate 40-year sentence.

In Bruce Schaadt v. State of Indiana, 33A05-1409-CR-428, Schaadt argued that the new criminal code, under which his dealing conviction would be subject to a maximum prison term of just six years, should apply retroactively to defendants who had not yet been convicted and sentenced when the revision took effect. But the General Assembly made it “abundantly clear” that the new criminal code was not intended to have any effect on the criminal proceedings for offenses committed prior to its enactment, Judge Ezra Friedlander pointed out. It is the offender, as a result of the timing of the crime, not the state, who chooses which statute applies, so Schaadt’s equal privileges and immunities claim fails.

With regards to his sentence, he received an aggravated sentence midway between the advisory and maximum sentence for a Class A felony. The judges noted that the nature of his offenses were not particularly aggravating and alone may not support his sentence, but his character is significantly aggravating. Schaadt has an extensive criminal history, including 10 misdemeanor convictions and four felony convictions. Thus, his sentence is not inappropriate.


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