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Friday, June 28, 2013

Ind. Decisions - Two more Supreme Court decisions today, so far

In Brad W. Passwater v. State of Indiana, a 9-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice Rucker writes:

After being charged with the murder of his mother, Brad W. Passwater was found guilty but mentally ill and sentenced to an executed term of years. He filed a petition for post-conviction relief alleging ineffective assistance of trial counsel for, among other things, counsel’s failure to object to the trial court’s instruction on the penal consequences of not responsible by reason of insanity and guilty but mentally ill. The post-conviction court denied relief. We affirm.
In Valentin Escobedo v. State of Indiana, a 2-page, 5-0 opinion, Chief Justice Dickson writes (in full):
Sentenced to an aggregate term of fifty-three years upon convictions for Battery, a class A felony, and Neglect of a Dependent as a class D felony, the defendant appealed asserting claims of error in the trial court's evidentiary rulings and seeking appellate sentence review and revision under Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B). The Court of Appeals affirmed. Escobedo v. State, 987 N.E.2d 103 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013). We now grant transfer to address a single point.

In rejecting the defendant's request for appellate sentence revision, the Court of Appeals summarized its analysis as follows: "In other words, the maximum sentence here can be justified as a deontological response giving voice to a community's outrage, based on the facts and circumstances of the crime." Id. at 120. We disagree and disapprove of consideration of a community's outrage in the determination or review of a criminal sentence. Notwithstanding this reference, however, we agree with the ultimate conclusion of the Court of Appeals that the sentence imposed by the trial court is appropriate and should be affirmed.

In all other respects we summarily affirm the opinion of the Court of Appeals. Indiana Appellate Rule 58(A)(2).

ILB: I had to look it up - deontological.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 28, 2013 01:02 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions