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Thursday, October 17, 2013
Ind. Courts - Morgan County Prosecutor to challenge expungement [Updated]
Keither Rhoades has this story on the $$ Martinsville Reporter-Times website. It begins:
Morgan County Prosecutor Steve Sonnega will be asking Morgan County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Hanson to declare a law that allows the expungement of criminal records to be unconstitutional. A hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday in the case of Jason Combs. Combs is asking that his 2006 criminal conviction for reckless driving, unreasonable speed, be expunged.Unfortunately, the rest of the story is available to subscribers only.
[Updated at 9:30 PM] Prof. Schumm mentioned this case in a commentary on Sept. 25th, titled "State Constitutional Twilight Zone: Judges and Prosecutors are Arguing Statutes are Unconstitutional." He noted:
The Indiana Supreme Court recently held in a sex offender registry case that "'the State is the State,' whether it acts through a deputy prosecutor or through the Department of Correction." The Attorney General, the State official charged with defending the constitutionality of state statutes, cannot be too pleased that the State (through a deputy prosecutor) is alleging a statute unconstitutional.Attorney Cara Wieneke writes this evening in a similar vein:
Can a prosecutor even ask that a state law be declared unconstitutional? The State is the State is the State. So how can the State of Indiana declare that one of its own laws that it promulgated is unconstitutional?
Plus, a citizen has rights under the State Constitution; the State does not. My understanding is that the Morgan County prosecutor is going to argue, in part, that the expungement law violates a provision of the Constitution that discusses victims of a crime. Shouldn't the victim, then, be the only person with standing to make such a challenge?
Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 17, 2013 05:00 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts