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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today, declines to follow 9th Circuit approach

In USA v. Robert Lee (ND Ind., Miller), an 11-page opinion, Chief Judge Wood writes:

While Robert L. Lee was on super-vised release, his probation officer learned that he had as-saulted his girlfriend Shelish Pulliam with a small souvenir baseball bat. The district court issued a warrant for Lee’s ar-rest and initiated proceedings to revoke his supervised re-lease. At the revocation hearing, the government offered the testimony of several law enforcement and medical personnel who interviewed or treated Pulliam. Pulliam had told each of them that Lee was the perpetrator. When Pulliam took the stand, however, she recanted and said that she had made up the assault story because she was mad at Lee. She explained her injuries, which were well documented, as the result of her tripping and falling down the stairs. After reviewing several Indiana criminal provisions, the court concluded that Lee had committed the offense of assault with a deadly weapon. On that basis, it revoked Lee’s supervised release and imposed a four-year term of imprisonment.

Although he did not raise this point in the district court, Lee now argues that he was denied due process under both the Fifth Amendment and Federal Rule of Criminal Proce-dure 32.1 because he did not receive adequate written notice of the precise crime that ultimately led to the revocation. Lee asks us to adopt a per se rule that only the citation to a specific statute will suffice to provide written notice of the alleged violation. Only the Ninth Circuit has gone this far. We are not persuaded that either the criminal rules or the Constitution requires this approach, and so we decline the invitation to abandon our own more flexible practice and join the Ninth Circuit. * * *

The petition to revoke Lee’s supervised release provided adequate written notice of the asserted grounds for revocation, as required by Rule 32.1 and the Constitution. Accordingly, we AFFIRM the district court’s revocation of Lee’s su-pervised release.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 29, 2015 02:04 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions