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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In US v. Hagler (ND Ind., Lee), a 17-page opinion, Circuit Judge Kanne writes:

On August 15, 2000, two men unsuccessfully tried to rob a bank in Woodburn, Indiana. They fled before police could arrive, and, for years, they remained at large. Then, in 2008, new DNA tests cracked the case and tied defendant William Hagler to the crime. Hagler was indicted for attempted bank robbery, and a jury found him guilty. Hagler now appeals, arguing that the government waited too long to indict him, that the evidence was insufficient to convict him, and that new DNA testing entitles him to a new trial. We affirm. * * *

A. Statute of Limitations Hagler’s first argument is that he was indicted after the statute of limitations had run. The applicable statute of limitations provides that, “[e]xcept as otherwise expressly provided by law, no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any offense, not capital, unless the indictment is found or the information is instituted within five years next after such offense shall have been committed.” 18 U.S.C. § 3282(a). Here, the aborted robbery took place on August 15, 2000, and the operative indictment against Hagler did not issue until July 28, 2010, nearly ten years later. Thus, Hagler argues, his indictment was untimely, and his conviction cannot stand.

But, as both sides acknowledge, we cannot come to this conclusion so easily. Section 3282(a) specifically allows for exceptions to the general limitations period, and the government argues that one of these exceptions is in play here.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 21, 2012 01:06 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions