Two men were sentenced in separate cases on Friday involving children, one for child abuse and one for molestation. Both received 12 years.
Indiana is currently not enforcing the right-to-work law, after two judges have ruled it unconstitutional. The Governor believes the law will be upheld, but in the meantime, is following the direction of the courts. I think he learned his lesson about messing with judges. H/t ILB.
The Obama administration has come up with new birth control rules that comply with the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling. SCOTUSblog has the details.
It took a moment for this to hit the news, but apparently Superior Court Judge Stanley Levine made some bad jokes at the ceremony honoring Jerry Noble the other day, and has had to apologize for it. Nothing of legal note, here, just a note of local interest. Read more from Rebecca Green at J-G.
Really should have mentioned this in the Monday Roundup, but long-time Allen County Superior Court executive Jerry Noble was honored with a Sagamore of the Wabash award last week. He served the court for over four decades.
Sagamore awards are granted to those individuals who have contributed greatly to the state. It is the highest honor bestowed by the Governor.
In the area:
In the strange case of two brothers who disposed of a body of a person whom one of the brothers may or may not have killed, but definitely attacked, and whose death may have occurred in Allen or Nobel County, one brother has pleaded guilty to moving the body and has been sentenced to three years. As part of the deal, it has apparently been settled that she officially died in Noble County.
In the state:
Indiana officially has its first ever female Chief Justice
William Clyde Gibson has a second date with the executioner, although it’s also unlikely to be met, as appeals will push the date back.
SCOTUSblog has a repeatedly-updated post about movements on the Virginia same-sex marriage case at the end of the week. It seems that the deadline for responses to the request for a stay was about 20 minutes ago, so the justices may be looking those over as I type this. Perhaps a ruling tomorrow?
Sometimes a jury isn’t convinced that a defendant is guilty, but they still kinda, sorta think he might be. Often, they have a way out: the lesser included charge.
Juries are given the option of convicting on lesser charges because, in theory, the prosecution may have convinced them that the defendant did what he was accused of, but was not able to prove all the necessary elements of the more serious charge.
Today, Paul Bell, Jr. was acquitted of rape, but convicted of sexual battery. For this to have happened, essentially the jury needs to have been convinced that the assault happened, but unconvinced that it involved any actual sexual penetration. It’s hard to escape the suspicion, however, that the jury simply didn’t know who to believe, so they split the difference.
Couple of things to hit on today:
Rebecca Green with the J-G has a nice article about big changes in local courts as employees flee in droves to avoid expected changes to their retirement fund. This is apparently happening throughout the state, per ILB.
A lot of people are talking about the legal ramifications of the Tony Stewart-Kevin Ward accident Saturday. Here’s just one example (which I’m not necessarily endorsing). For now, it’s enough to remember that Stewart could be liable even if he didn’t have any “criminal intent.” Also, that criminal liability and civil liability have different standards. To be convicted of manslaughter, the state would have to prove either intent to injure (1st degree) or recklessness (2nd degree). To win in a civil case, Ward’s family would need only prove negligence, which is an easier standard to meet than recklessness. One last thought: New York is a “pure comparative negligence” state. That means that, even if Ward is mostly to blame, if a jury assigns any percentage of fault to Stewart, he’d be liable for that share of the damages.
In the local courts last week, one of our many outstanding bar shooting cases has made it to the end, as Senaca Lapsley was sentenced to 78 years for aggravated battery and criminal recklessness with a specification for being an habitual offender.
The death of an elderly lady whose body was discovered Friday has been ruled a homicide.