Friday, January 11, 2013
Ind. Decisions - More on: Attorney General will appeal Gingerich ruling to Indiana Supreme Court
If Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller gets his way, a boy believed to be the youngest Hoosier ever sent to prison as an adult will stay there, without a chance at a new hearing.
Zoeller said Thursday that his office would appeal an Indiana Court of Appeals ruling last month regarding Paul Henry Gingerich, who was 12 when he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in the death of his friend’s stepfather.
Zoeller is asking the state Supreme Court to reverse the ruling, which said the court in Kosciusko County erred by not giving Gingerich’s attorneys more time to prepare arguments that his case should stay in juvenile court. They were given five days; similar cases in Marion County and elsewhere get three months. * * *
Zoeller, in his filing, said the reversal by the appeals court presents a danger: If Gingerich is given a new hearing after pleading guilty, it will upset the plea-bargaining process. * * *
Indianapolis attorney Monica Foster took Gingerich’s case, pro bono, after he was sent to jail. She argued successfully before the appeals court that Gingerich’s case never should have gone to the guilty plea, that at age 12 he was too young to understand the process, and that his attorneys weren’t given time to show that.
After winning at the appeals court, Foster planned for the case to go back to the juvenile court in Kosciusko County, likely in the spring.
If the case reaches the Supreme Court, the process could take another year.
Foster called Zoeller’s appeal a “waste of taxpayers time’ and the resources of the court.”
“In America, you get more than five days to prepare for the most important hearing of your life, and when you don’t, you get a do-over,” Foster said. “I’m very disappointed in the government, yes. I will defend this case to the gates of hell.”
Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 11, 2013 12:45 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions