Articles

Majority justices uphold return of seized Land Rover that went to SCOTUS

After seven-plus years of litigation, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Marion man seeking the return of his seized white Land Rover. The majority justices concluded Thursday that Tyson Timbs met his high burden of showing that the harshness of his vehicle’s forfeiture was grossly disproportionate to the gravity of his underlying drug dealing offense and culpability for the vehicle’s misuse.

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Executioners sanitized accounts of deaths in federal cases

Executioners who put 13 inmates to death in the last months of the Trump administration likened the process of dying by lethal injection to falling asleep and called gurneys “beds” and final breaths “snores.” The sworn accounts by executioners, which government filings cited as evidence the lethal injections were going smoothly, raise questions about whether officials misled courts to ensure the executions scheduled from July to mid-January were done before death penalty opponent Joe Biden became president.

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The next step: Civil forfeiture reform efforts continue in Indiana

Civil forfeiture is back before the judicial and the legislative branches of Indiana government. A Senate bill would implement forfeiture reforms that practitioners say have long been necessary, while a case scheduled to go before the Indiana Supreme Court this month for the third time could further refine how trial courts consider whether a forfeiture is lawful.

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DTCI: Civil Forfeiture and the Eighth Amendment, Part Two

Attorneys representing governmental entities will serve their clients well to read the Indiana Supreme Court’s opinion from Timbs, which will provide insights into certain issues the court considers important in evaluating claims that a specific forfeiture violated the respondent’s rights under the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment.

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Reversal: Indianapolis police immune in teen’s death linked to handcuffing

Despite multiple 7th Circuit decisions finding police at fault for injuring individuals by excessive handcuffing, a panel from the Chicago court has granted qualified immunity to two Indianapolis police officers in the death of a teenager because none of the previous cases specifically give arrestees the right to not be handcuffed after complaining about difficulty breathing.

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