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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court decides one, re parole conditions

In David Bleeke v. Bruce Lemmon, in his capacity as Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Correction; Thor R. Miller, as Chairman of the Indiana Parole Board; et al., a 51-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice David writes:

In this case, a parolee convicted of a sex crime against an adult female challenges a number of his parole conditions, including several that prohibit him from having contact with children—even his own. He also challenges the constitutionality of a state treatment program for sex offenders that he must participate in as part of his parole, claiming that under the program he is required to provide self-incriminating statements about his underlying offense and sexual history without immunity and under the threat of being found in violation of his parole.

We conclude that some of his parole conditions are impermissible on several grounds, but find no fault with the remainder. We likewise find no constitutional flaw in the state treatment program. * * *

We therefore reverse the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Parole Board with respect to Bleeke’s additional parole conditions 4, 5, 17, 19, and 20, and remand with instructions that it enter an order enjoining the Parole Board from enforcing those conditions. We summarily affirm the Court of Appeals opinion below [see the ILB summary of the Jan. 23, 2013 COA opinion] with respect to its analysis of Bleeke’s additional parole conditions 8, 15, 17, and 19, and his challenges to Ind. Code §§ 11-13-3-4(g) and 35-42-4-11, and remand with instructions that the trial court also enter an order enjoining the Parole Board from enforcing conditions 8 and 15 unless it clarifies them first, and enjoining the Parole Board from enforcing those statutory parole conditions derived from the unconstitutionally overbroad labeling of Bleeke as an “offender against children.” But we affirm the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Parole Board with respect to Bleeke’s remaining additional conditions.

And we likewise affirm the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to the Parole Board with respect to Bleeke’s claims about the constitutionality of the SOMM program. The program is a valuable tool aimed at the legitimate purpose of rehabilitating sex offenders before they are fully released from State control, and its requirements do not violate the Fifth Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 16, 2014 12:13 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions