Watford v. State, No. 1277S805

Docket NºNo. 1277S805
Citation270 Ind. 262, 384 N.E.2d 1030
Case DateJanuary 29, 1979
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 1030

384 N.E.2d 1030
270 Ind. 262
Gaulton Lee WATFORD, Appellant (Defendant below),
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff below).
No. 1277S805.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
Jan. 29, 1979.

Page 1031

Harriette Bailey Conn, Public Defender of Indiana, R. Davy Eaglesfield, III, Special Deputy Public Defender, Kenneth Stroud, Sp. Asst. Public Defender, Indianapolis, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen. of Ind., Alembert W. Brayton, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

PRENTICE, Justice.

Defendant (Appellant) was convicted of kidnapping, Ind.Code § 35-1-55-1 (Burns 1975), in a trial by jury. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 21, 1967, and on April 3, 1978 was granted permission to file a belated appeal pursuant to Post Conviction Remedy Rule 2, which appeal presents the following issues for our review:

(1) Whether the trial court erred in denying the defendant's motion to correct his sentence and discharge him from custody.

(2) Whether the trial court erred in entering judgment against the defendant upon the verdict of guilty, in light of his co-defendant's acquittal at the same trial.

ISSUE I

On May 19, 1978, the defendant filed a motion for the correction of [270 Ind. 263] his sentence and for discharge from custody alleging in part the following:

"4. In October, 1977, the Criminal Code of Indiana changed the conduct for which defendant was convicted to the crime of confinement, which is a class D felony (punishable by imprisonment for 2 years, with not more than 2 years added for aggravating circumstances.) In the commentary to the new code, it is stated:

" 'The elements of this offense (confinement) are substantially the same as the elements of the prior kidnapping statute, IC 35-1-55-1 (repealed). West's Annotated Indiana Code at 403.'

"For this Court to hold that the more severe penalty should apply 'would serve no purpose other than to satisfy a constitutionally impermissible desire for vindictive justice.' Maynard v. State, (1977) Ind.App., 367 N.E.2d 5 at 8."

To paraphrase the above quoted portion of the motion, by legislative enactment that became effective subsequent to the defendant's sentencing but prior to the initiating of his appeal, the Criminal Code of Indiana

Page 1032

was revised. By such revision the conduct, which had previously constituted the crime of kidnapping, thereafter constituted the crime of Criminal Confinement and carried a sentence substantially less severe than the life sentence imposed by the kidnapping statute, under which the defendant had been charged, convicted and sentenced.

It is Defendant's position that he is entitled to be sentenced under the provisions of the Criminal Confinement statute rather than under the provisions of the repealed Kidnapping statute.

The defendant recognizes that Indiana's general savings clause, Ind.Code § 1-1-5-1 (Burns 1975) 1 provides that, in the absence of an express provision for retroactivity a statutory revision does not apply to any act committed prior to its effective date. He argues, however, that the [270 Ind. 264] savings clause was enacted to determine the legislative intent only when no contrary intent is expressed or implied by the repealing or amending act in question. He further argues, that in the instant case it is obvious that the Legislature clearly intended to ameliorate the excessive punishment previously provided for the criminal acts when they passed the Criminal Confinement statute, Ind.Code § 35-42-3-3 (Burns Supp. 1978). Given the ameliorative intent, he contends that the application of the revised statute should not be restricted solely to offenses committed after the statute's effective date, October 1, 1977.

In support of his position the defendant cites Maynard v. State, (1977) Ind.App., 367 N.E.2d 5. In Maynard, the Court of Appeals vacated the defendant's sentence for delivery of a controlled substance, and re-sentenced him under an amended statute which had become effective after the crime had been committed but prior to the defendant's trial and sentencing. The court stated at p. 8:

"If there is an express statement by the legislature that its former penalty was too...

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29 practice notes
  • Carter v. State, No. 1184S457
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 25 August 1987
    ...it was not a denial of equal protection to sentence Carter according to the statute in effect at that time. Watford v. State (1979), 270 Ind. 262, 384 N.E.2d XI. Discovery Abuse by State Within three days of Carter's arraignment, defense counsel requested that the prosecutor provide any inf......
  • Allen v. State, No. 49S00-9207-DP-566
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 25 September 1997
    ...analysis. Rather, the extent of our writ is to enforce the law as it was at the time Allen committed his crimes. Watford v. State, 270 Ind. 262, 384 N.E.2d 1030 Allen's fourth and last argument is that to execute him in the face of his mental frailties would offend evolving standards of dec......
  • Davis v. State, No. 581S145
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 13 April 1983
    ...and the defendant is not entitled to have his sentence modified. Owens v. State, (1981) Ind., 419 N.E.2d 969; Watford v. State, (1979) 270 Ind. 262, 384 N.E.2d 1030. We have similarly held that sentencing under the law in effect at the time a crime was committed, rather than pursuant to ame......
  • Harris v. State, No. 1284S511
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 15 August 1985
    ...occurred prior to the effective date of the new statute. See Davis v. State (1983), Ind., 446 N.E.2d 1317; Watford v. State (1979), 270 Ind. 262, 384 N.E.2d 1030 (if defendant's judgment is final prior to the effective date of the statute, he cannot obtain advantages of ameliorative sentenc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
29 cases
  • Allen v. State, No. 49S00-9207-DP-566
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 25 September 1997
    ...analysis. Rather, the extent of our writ is to enforce the law as it was at the time Allen committed his crimes. Watford v. State, 270 Ind. 262, 384 N.E.2d 1030 Allen's fourth and last argument is that to execute him in the face of his mental frailties would offend evolving standards of dec......
  • Carter v. State, No. 1184S457
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 25 August 1987
    ...it was not a denial of equal protection to sentence Carter according to the statute in effect at that time. Watford v. State (1979), 270 Ind. 262, 384 N.E.2d XI. Discovery Abuse by State Within three days of Carter's arraignment, defense counsel requested that the prosecutor provide any inf......
  • Davis v. State, No. 581S145
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 13 April 1983
    ...and the defendant is not entitled to have his sentence modified. Owens v. State, (1981) Ind., 419 N.E.2d 969; Watford v. State, (1979) 270 Ind. 262, 384 N.E.2d 1030. We have similarly held that sentencing under the law in effect at the time a crime was committed, rather than pursuant to ame......
  • Harris v. State, No. 1284S511
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • 15 August 1985
    ...occurred prior to the effective date of the new statute. See Davis v. State (1983), Ind., 446 N.E.2d 1317; Watford v. State (1979), 270 Ind. 262, 384 N.E.2d 1030 (if defendant's judgment is final prior to the effective date of the statute, he cannot obtain advantages of ameliorative sentenc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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