Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Companion Case Day at the Indiana Supreme Court--Including Big Sentencing News

After what must have been a busy day yesterday working on the Toll Road case, the Indiana Supreme Court has handed down five opinions today, depending on how you count.

Three sentencing opinions by Justice Rucker are companion cases. The court finally does in the numerous decisions of the Court of Appeals blocking appeals of sentences where there was a plea agreement calling for anything but open sentencing. (Tumulty (Ind. 1996) rears its ugly head yet again--the case that (finally) decided that one may not appeal a conviction from a guilty plea--although, as we know from Collins, one must appeal a sentence and not wait for post-conviction proceedings.)

Two opinions by Justice Dickson are companion cases saying that that municipalities do not have immunity from being sued over accidents resulting from high-speed chases.

Here are the links:
Jeffrey Patrick, City of Gary & City of Gary Police Department v. Richard Miresso

City of Indianapolis and Indianapolis Police Department v. Richard Garman

Roger D. Childress v. State of Indiana and Gary L. Carroll v. State of Indiana
61S01-0510-CR-484 & 61S04-0510-CR-485
61C01-0402-FB-56, 61C01-0303-FB-55, 61C01-0204-FD-59 & 61C01-0306-FC-104

Jerry Reyes v. State of Indiana

David Weiss v. State of Indiana
(Boy, that was pretty nifty. I never tried just pasting the links from the opinion site over here.)

From a quick read of Justice Rucker's sentencing cases, it is absolutely clear that one may ask the appellate courts to independently review a sentence imposed where a plea agreement left a judge any discretion. What is not clear--and I need to read the cases more carefully--is whether one may also raise claims of sentencing error. They're not the same thing.

Under the new sentencing regime, however, sentencing error hardly matters. See this post and Judge Barnes' opinion in Anglemyer.

The blog topics mount.

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