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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ind. Decisions - Is there a right to make a statement in allocution? Yes, but ...

In a decision today where the oral argument was held Nov. 14, 2006, Nicholas Biddinger v. State, Justice Rucker writes in a 9-page, 5-0 opinion:

We granted transfer in this case to address the question of whether a criminal defendant who pleads guilty to an offense has a right to make a statement in allocution prior to sentencing. The answer is yes. * * *

A defendant who pleads guilty has a right to make a statement in allocution upon request prior to sentencing. In this case the trial court erred by not allowing Biddinger to make a statement in allocution. But the error was harmless. Further, Biddinger has not demonstrated that his ten-year executed sentence to be served in the Department of Correction requires revision. We therefore affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 20, 2007 03:20 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions