Anglemyer v. State, No. 43S05-0606-CR-230.

Docket NºNo. 43S05-0606-CR-230.
Citation868 N.E.2d 482
Case DateJune 26, 2007
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana
868 N.E.2d 482
Alexander J. ANGLEMYER, Appellant (Defendant below),
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff below).
No. 43S05-0606-CR-230.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
June 26, 2007.

[868 N.E.2d 484]

Joel M. Schumm, Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis, IN, Attorney for Appellant.

Steve Carter, Attorney General of Indiana, Justin F. Roebel, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, IN, Attorneys for Appellee.

On Petition To Transfer from the Indiana Court of Appeals, No. 43A05-0510-CR-590

RUCKER, Justice.


Summary

In this opinion we discuss the respective roles of Indiana trial and appellate courts under the 2005 amendments to Indiana's criminal sentencing statutes. We hold that where a trial court imposes sentence

868 N.E.2d 485

for a felony offense it is required to issue a sentencing statement that includes a reasonably detailed recitation of the trial court's reasons for the sentence imposed. The standard of review is abuse of discretion.

Facts and Procedural History

Around 10:00 p.m. on May 14, 2005, Alexander J. Anglemyer telephoned a local restaurant and ordered a pizza. He advised the person taking the order that the delivery driver should bring change for a one hundred dollar bill. Anglemyer provided the address to a vacant house located at the end of a residential street. When the driver arrived Anglemyer walked up to him with his hands behind his back. The driver thought that Anglemyer was reaching for his wallet, but "the next thing [the driver] kn[e]w, [he] got hit in the head." App. at 30. The driver fell to the ground where Anglemyer continued to beat and kick him while shouting "[g]ive me your money." Id. The driver tossed Anglemyer a pouch containing cash and checks. As a result of the attack the driver suffered severe pain, a broken right arm, and a laceration to his head requiring seven staples. Id. at 7.

Anglemyer was arrested shortly thereafter and later charged with Count I, robbery as a Class B felony, and Count II, battery as a Class C felony. Under the terms of a written plea agreement, Anglemyer agreed to plead guilty as charged. Among other things the agreement provided that the "sentence will not exceed sixteen (16) years executed. Each count's sentence shall run consecutive." Id. at 8. The trial court accepted the agreement, and Anglemyer pleaded guilty pursuant to its terms. At the sentencing hearing the trial court imposed a ten-year sentence for the Class B felony conviction and a six-year sentence for the Class C felony conviction. Ordering the sentences to run consecutively, the trial court imposed a total term of sixteen years.

Appealing his sentence Anglemyer raised a single issue, "Whether the maximum possible sentence imposed under the Plea Agreement is inappropriate in light of Anglemyer's character and the nature of the offenses." Br. of Appellant at 2. The Court of Appeals declined to address this claim.1 However, because in the argument section of his brief Anglemyer focused upon alleged trial court error in identifying and weighing aggravating and mitigating factors, the Court of Appeals addressed these claims. Concluding, among other things, that under the amended statutory scheme any error related to the trial court's findings of aggravating and mitigating circumstances is harmless, the court affirmed the trial court's judgment. Anglemyer v. State, 845 N.E.2d 1087, 1090-92 (Ind.Ct.App.2006). We previously granted transfer, thereby vacating the Court of Appeals' opinion. See Anglemyer v. State, 855 N.E.2d 1012 (Ind.2006) (Table); Ind. Appellate Rule 58(A). We now affirm the judgment of the trial court, but for reasons slightly different from those of our colleagues.

Background

In order to produce more uniform sentences the Indiana Legislature adopted a sentencing scheme in 1977 that included a fixed term presumptive sentence for each class of felonies. See Ind.Code §§ 35-50-2-3 to -7 (West Supp.1977). These statutes

868 N.E.2d 486

also created upper and lower limits for each class of felony offenses. Id. In deciding whether to depart from the presumptive sentence, the trial judge was required to consider five enumerated factors and could consider various other aggravating and mitigating factors. See I.C. § 35-4.1-4-7 (West Supp.1977). The upper and lower limits were revised over the years, but from the time this sentencing arrangement was adopted, our courts understood it as requiring a given presumptive term for each class of crimes from which a judge could deviate upon a finding of aggravating or mitigating circumstances deemed adequate to justify adding or subtracting years. See, e.g., Henderson v. State, 769 N.E.2d 172, 179-80 (Ind.2002); Gardner v. State, 270 Ind. 627, 388 N.E.2d 513, 516-19 (1979).2 To facilitate this sentencing arrangement we determined that when a trial judge deviated from the fixed term presumptive sentence, it was required to "(1) identify all significant mitigating and aggravating circumstances; (2) state the specific reason why each circumstance ha[d] been determined to be mitigating or aggravating; and (3) articulate the court's evaluation and balancing of circumstances." Prickett v. State, 856 N.E.2d 1203, 1207 (Ind.2006); see also Harris v. State, 659 N.E.2d 522, 527-28 (Ind.1995); Hammons v. State, 493 N.E.2d 1250, 1254 (Ind.1986); Robinson v. State, 477 N.E.2d 883, 886 (Ind.1985).

In 2000 the United States Supreme Court decided Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 120 S.Ct. 2348, 147 L.Ed.2d 435 (2000). Apprendi involved a New Jersey "hate crime" statute that authorized a trial court to increase the sentencing range for a crime when the court found, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant's purpose in committing the crime was to intimidate an individual or a group because of race, color, gender, handicap, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. Id. at 468-69, 120 S.Ct. 2348. Finding this statute unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause, the Court announced the rule that "[o]ther than the fact of a prior conviction, any fact that increases the penalty for a crime beyond the prescribed statutory maximum must be submitted to a jury, and proved beyond a reasonable doubt." Id. at 490, 120 S.Ct. 2348.

Four years later in Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 124 S.Ct. 2531, 159 L.Ed.2d 403 (2004), the Supreme Court reiterated, "Other than the fact of a prior conviction, any fact that increases the penalty for a crime beyond the prescribed statutory maximum must be submitted to a jury, and proved beyond a reasonable doubt." Id. at 301, 124 S.Ct. 2531 (quoting Apprendi, 530 U.S. at 490, 120 S.Ct. 2348). However, the Court clarified that "the `statutory maximum' for Apprendi purposes is the maximum sentence a judge may impose solely on the basis of the facts reflected in the jury verdict or admitted by the defendant." Id. at 303, 124 S.Ct. 2531 (emphasis omitted). The Court further explained, "In other words, the relevant `statutory maximum' is not the maximum sentence a judge may impose after finding additional facts, but the maximum he may impose without any additional findings." Id. at 303-04, 124 S.Ct. 2531. The Court thus declared that defendant Blakely's sentence, enhanced based on various facts found by the sentencing judge, violated Blakely's Sixth Amendment right to a jury

868 N.E.2d 487

trial. Id. at 305, 124 S.Ct. 2531.3 Not surprisingly, this decision cast doubt over the constitutionality of sentencing schemes throughout the country.4 And Indiana was no exception.

Responding to Blakely this Court declared that Indiana's fixed term sentencing scheme was the functional equivalent of the sentencing scheme the Supreme Court disapproved in Blakely. In Smylie v. State, 823 N.E.2d 679 (Ind.2005), we noted that, "Both establish a mandatory starting point for sentencing criminals based on the elements of proof necessary to prove a particular offense and the sentencing class into which the offense falls. The trial court judge then must engage in judicial fact-finding during sentencing if a sentence greater than the presumptive fixed term is to be imposed. It is this type of judicial fact-finding that concerned the Court in Blakely." Id. at 683. We thus concluded that Indiana's sentencing scheme ran afoul of the Sixth Amendment because "it mandates both a fixed term and permits judicial discretion in finding aggravating or mitigating circumstances to deviate from the fixed term." Id. at 685. Although reaching this conclusion, we identified two alternative ways in which Indiana's sentencing scheme could pass constitutional muster: "(1) our present arrangement of fixed presumptive terms, modified to require jury findings on facts in aggravation, or (2) a system in which there is no stated `fixed term' (or at least none that has legally binding effect) in which judges would impose sentences without a jury." Id.5 To remedy the constitutional infirmity, we endorsed the former alternative, namely: a jury must find the facts used to enhance a fixed presumptive term. In our view, jury sentencing was more faithful to "the overarching theme of Indiana's 1977 sentencing reform," that of "abandon[ing] indeterminate sentencing in favor of fixed and predictable penalties." Id. at 686.

Within weeks of Smylie, the Legislature amended Indiana's sentencing statutes essentially adopting the second alternative Smylie identified. The Legislature left intact

868 N.E.2d 488

lower and upper limits for each class of felony offenses, but eliminated fixed presumptive terms in favor of "advisory sentences" that are between the minimum and maximum terms. See I.C. § 35-50-2-3 to -7.6 In addition the Legislature eliminated the requirement that trial courts must consider certain mandatory circumstances when determining the exact sentence to be imposed. Rather, the amended statute now includes a non-exhaustive list of aggravating and mitigating circumstances trial courts "may consider," I.C. §...

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1767 practice notes
  • State v. Bell, No. 17864.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • September 11, 2007
    ...make finding), cert. denied, 546 U.S. 976, 126 S.Ct. 545, 163 L.Ed.2d 459 (2005), superseded by statute as stated in Anglemyer v. State, 868 N.E.2d 482, 489 (Ind. 2007); State v. Shattuck, 704 N.W.2d 131, 144 (Minn.2005) (excising part of guideline section that allows upward departure on ba......
  • State v. Willey, No. 2010–578.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Hampshire
    • May 1, 2012
    ...the chosen sentence to allow for meaningful appellate review and to promote the perception of fair sentencing.”); Anglemyer v. State, 868 N.E.2d 482, 490 (Ind.2007) (requiring “reasonably detailed recitation of the trial court's reasons [44 A.3d 454]for imposing a particular sentence”); Sta......
  • Brown v. State, No. 15A01-0812-CR-566.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • September 10, 2009
    ...including the decision to impose consecutive sentences, are within the sound discretion of the trial court. Anglemyer v. State, 868 N.E.2d 482 (Ind.2007), clarified on reh'g, 875 N.E.2d 218. A trial court is required to state its reasons for imposing enhanced or consecutive sentences. Creek......
  • Ramon v. State, No. 17A03-0707-CR-333.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • June 10, 2008
    ...decisions rest within the sound discretion of the trial court and are reviewed on appeal for an abuse of discretion. Anglemyer v. State, 868 N.E.2d 482 (Ind.2007). A trial court abuses its discretion when its decision is clearly against the logic and effect of the facts and circumstances be......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1767 cases
  • State v. Bell, No. 17864.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • September 11, 2007
    ...make finding), cert. denied, 546 U.S. 976, 126 S.Ct. 545, 163 L.Ed.2d 459 (2005), superseded by statute as stated in Anglemyer v. State, 868 N.E.2d 482, 489 (Ind. 2007); State v. Shattuck, 704 N.W.2d 131, 144 (Minn.2005) (excising part of guideline section that allows upward departure on ba......
  • State v. Willey, No. 2010–578.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Hampshire
    • May 1, 2012
    ...the chosen sentence to allow for meaningful appellate review and to promote the perception of fair sentencing.”); Anglemyer v. State, 868 N.E.2d 482, 490 (Ind.2007) (requiring “reasonably detailed recitation of the trial court's reasons [44 A.3d 454]for imposing a particular sentence”); Sta......
  • Brown v. State, No. 15A01-0812-CR-566.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • September 10, 2009
    ...including the decision to impose consecutive sentences, are within the sound discretion of the trial court. Anglemyer v. State, 868 N.E.2d 482 (Ind.2007), clarified on reh'g, 875 N.E.2d 218. A trial court is required to state its reasons for imposing enhanced or consecutive sentences. Creek......
  • Ramon v. State, No. 17A03-0707-CR-333.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • June 10, 2008
    ...decisions rest within the sound discretion of the trial court and are reviewed on appeal for an abuse of discretion. Anglemyer v. State, 868 N.E.2d 482 (Ind.2007). A trial court abuses its discretion when its decision is clearly against the logic and effect of the facts and circumstances be......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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