An Appealing Verdict (4/6/10)
Last week, Indiana's Court of Appeals delivered a ruling that could go a long way toward restoring some sanity to our legal system.
Like so many other felons with a "What have I got to lose?" attitude, convicted rapist Jeffrey Ackard – who was found guilty of some of the most heinous acts imaginable -- decided to clog the courts with a ridiculous appeal seeking to reduce the length of his 93-year prison sentence to just 40. But here's the twist:
The three-judge panel didn't just deny the request. After giving further consideration to the violent and sadistic nature of Ackard's crimes, they actually added 25 years to his sentence.
It's the first time a sentence has been revised upward since the state's Supreme Court affirmed that possibility last year, but I certainly hope it's not the last.
While the appeals process certainly serves a valid purpose in addressing real judicial errors, there's no denying it's far too often used in a completely frivolous manner, solely as a means of endlessly delaying punishment in hopes of ultimately overturning perfectly justified convictions.
But now that offenders have been put on notice that losing an appeal can bring additional consequences, maybe those who know they're actually guilty won't be as quick to waste everyone's time and money. At least we can hope.
But what do you think? Call and let us know.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.