« Ind. Gov't. - More on "Public Universities See Familiar Fight at Virginia" | Main | Courts - "Bryan Stevenson, the man behind the juvenile justice cases decided by the Supreme Court" »

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court issues one today

In Michael Sharp v. State of Indiana, a 6-page, 5-0 opinion, Chief Justice Dickson writes:

The defendant Michael E. Sharp has appealed his convictions and sentences for two counts of Child Molesting. The Court of Appeals rejected his several appellate claims and af-firmed the trial court. Sharp v. State, 951 N.E.2d 282 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011). Seeking transfer, the defendant asserts a single claim: that the Court of Appeals should have considered his credit restricted felon status when evaluating his request for appellate sentence review under Indiana Appellate Rule 7. As to this issue, we reject the rationale applied by the Court of Appeals but reach the same outcome regarding the appropriateness of the defendant's sentence. With respect to the defendant's other appellate issues, we summarily affirm the Court of Appeals. Ind. App. R. 58(A)(2). * * *

The Court of Appeals rejected all of his claims and, in its appellate sentence review, held "we will not take into account a person's credit restricted felon status when reviewing a sentence under Appellate Rule 7(B)" because "credit time is set by the legislature and is not a discretionary tool used by the trial court judge." Sharp, 951 N.E.2d at 290. We granted transfer and now hold that credit time status may be considered by an appellate court exercising its review and revise authority. * * *

We hold that appellate sentence review may take into consideration the potential consequences of an offenders' status as a credit restricted felon, but we otherwise summarily affirm the decision of the Court of Appeals regarding double jeopardy and the trial court's consideration of aggravating and mitigating circumstances. We decline to find the defendant's sentence to be in-appropriate, and we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Notably, again today the Supreme Court cites, here at p. 6, to the archived video of the oral argument (but uses a different format for the citation):
In this appeal, the defendant contends that his unfavorable credit time status should be considered as part of the aggregate penal consequences subject to appellate review and revision under Appellate Rule 7. The State responds that a defendant's credit time status should not be considered for purposes of Appellate Rule 7 review because credit time status is a "correctional tool" offered as a carrot to encourage a defendant to conduct himself or herself appropriately while incarcerated. Oral Arg. at 00:24:30, 00:30:10, available at https://mycourts.in.gov/ arguments/default.aspx?view=detail&id=1287.
See June 22nd ILB entry headed "So how important are oral arguments? Supreme Court cites video of oral argument." The format used in the June 22nd opinion was: "Oral Arg. Video Tr. at 26:02-26:40."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 26, 2012 04:37 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions