Gregory L. Caldwell
Meredith J. Mann
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE
Attorney General of Indiana
Deputy Attorney General
Gregory L. Caldwell
Meredith J. Mann
FLOYD P. POORE, )
Appellant (Defendant below), ) Indiana Supreme Court
) Cause No. 29S05-9708-PC-470
) Indiana Court of Appeals
STATE OF INDIANA, ) Cause No. 29A05-9502-PC-42
Appellee (Plaintiff below). )
we hold that the time limits are applicable, we grant transfer, vacate the habitual offender
finding and accompanying sentence enhancement, and reverse for further proceedings
consistent with this opinion.
motion. The Court of Appeals upheld this determination on the merits, but remanded and
ordered that Poore's motion be dismissed without prejudice so that Poore could challenge
the enhancement in postconviction relief. Poore v. State, 613 N.E.2d 478 (Ind. Ct. App.
On November 30, 1993, Poore petitioned for postconviction relief on the ground that the habitual offender enhancement was no longer valid as a result of the vacation of the 1970 theft conviction. On April 11, 1994, the postconviction court granted Poore's petition for relief, vacated the enhancement, and ordered the habitual offender count set for retrial. On May 10, 1994 Poore, acting pro se, moved for a speedy trial and asserted that he had a right under Criminal Rule 4(B) to a trial within seventy days.See footnote 1 On May 16, 1994, the court set the case for trial on August 9, 1994 -- ninety-one days after Poore's May 10th motion. On June 6, 1994, Poore objected to this trial date, noted the date of his speedy-trial request, and again demanded an early trial under Rule 4(B), but the motion was denied. On July 12, 1994, Poore filed yet another pro se motion objecting to the August trial date and asserted: "Under no circumstance do I want or ask for a continuance . . . . Under the Indiana Rules of Criminal Procedures [sic] the seventy (70) day of limitation imposed by Rule 4(B) applies to me."
On July 19, 1994 -- seventy days after his speedy trial request -- Poore filed a motion for discharge in which he argued that he was being incarcerated illegally. Poore contended
that, as of April 6, 1993, he had completely served his sentence on the underlying burglary
conviction and therefore was being held only under the vacated enhancement. The trial court
orally denied the motion from the bench on the first day of the retrial. At that point, an
attorney had been appointed to represent Poore. In a colloquy with the court on the first day
of trial, counsel maintained that Rule 4 should have been available to Poore because he was
incarcerated and being tried under an information. The court rejected this argument and
stated that Poore's speedy-trial request under Rule 4(B) was "somewhat dubious" because,
in the court's view, the seventy-day time limit did not apply to retrials. On August 10, 1994,
a jury found Poore to be a habitual offender. On October 21, 1994, the trial court sentenced
Poore to twenty years on the burglary charge enhanced by thirty years for the habitual
offender finding. The court gave Poore 4219 days credit for continuous time served since
April 6, 1983. Poore appealed and the Court of Appeals affirmed. Poore v. State, 660
N.E.2d 591 (Ind. Ct. App. 1996), reh'g denied.
signs in the record that either of these exceptions explains the delay in this case and the
parties do not contend otherwise. If the trial court had made a finding of congestion as
required by Rule 4(B), that determination would be presumed to be valid on appeal. Clark
v. State, 659 N.E.2d 548, 552 (Ind. 1995). However, this did not occur and Poore, far from
delaying the proceeding, appears to have done all he could to expedite it. The State does not
contend that Poore's motion was untimely. Poore argues that he was entitled to the benefit
of Rule 4(B) and that he must be discharged because the Rule was not complied with here.
The State responds that Rule 4(B) does not apply to retrials and that Poore, in any event,
received a trial within a reasonable time.See footnote
The Court of Appeals, with one judge dissenting, held that Rule 4(B) was not available to Poore because the rule is inapplicable to sentencing proceedings. Poore, 660 N.E.2d at 594-95. In reaching a different result today, we emphasize function over form. A habitual offender determination, although relating to sentencing in terms of its result and technically not a separate offense, is a pending criminal proceeding that has several hallmarks of a trial. And the restraint on Poore's liberty that was imposed pending the
outcome of that determination is precisely why Rule 4(B) guarantees a speedy trial to an
A. Text of Rule 4(B)
First we deal with the plain language of the Rule. The parties have not directed us to any cases, and the Court of Appeals cited none, elaborating the meaning of the phrase "held in jail on an indictment or affidavit" as used Rule 4(B). Although not entirely without ambiguity, this element clearly contemplates a defendant in custody on a pending criminal charge. Poore's circumstances satisfied this requirement. Indeed, the State maintained at trial that Poore was being tried under the original information that was filed in 1983. This issue arose in the context of Poore's contention, originally made in his motion to discharge and renewed at trial, that a new information had to be filed and a new arraignment had to be held on the habitual offender count. The trial court denied Poore's motion on the ground that Poore was being tried under the original information and had been arraigned when he was first charged. The court referred to the habitual offender retrial as a "continuation" of the initial prosecution. At the State's request, the vacated 1970 theft conviction was stricken from the information and the trial proceeded under the information as amended. We agree with the dissent that Poore was "being held upon the habitual charge as set forth in the indictment or information." Poore, 660 N.E.2d at 597 (citation omitted).
The more vexing question is whether the retrial of the habitual offender count was a "trial" within the meaning of Rule 4(B). We find no authority on what constitutes a "trial" in this context and application of Rule 4(B) to habitual offender proceedings is a question
of first impression in Indiana. Nonetheless, this issue is decided against the backdrop of several settled and basic principles. For example, it is well established that a habitual offender finding is neither a separate offense nor a separate conviction. Rather, it is merely an enhancement of a sentence for one felony due to the defendant's commission of at least two prior unrelated felonies. See, e.g., Griffin v. State, 439 N.E.2d 160, 165 (Ind. 1982), modified on other grounds by Bailey v. State, 472 N.E.2d 1260 (Ind. 1985), reh'g denied. Although habitual offender proceedings ultimately relate to the length of the sentence, the determination that a defendant is a habitual offender carries with it certain protections normally associated with trials. One feature is the heightened burden of proof; the State must prove the existence of two prior unrelated felony convictions beyond a reasonable doubt. Ind. Code § 35-50-2-8(d) (Supp. 1995). As the Court of Appeals here observed, the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution bars reprosecution of a habitual offender charge where the State has failed to prove that status due to insufficient evidence.See footnote 3 See, e.g., Bell v. State, 622 N.E.2d 450, 456 (Ind. 1993), reh'g denied. And evidentiary protections apply to the extent they are implicated in a habitual offender proceeding. See, e.g., Straub v. State, 567 N.E.2d 87, 93-94 (Ind. 1991) (copies of fingerprint cards were admissible under business records exception to the hearsay rule);
Kelly v. State, 561 N.E.2d 771, 775 (Ind. 1990) ("Here a person's liberty for 30 years is at
stake. Considering the possibility of undetected mistake or inadvertence, the law of evidence
wisely favors the enhanced assurance of accuracy, reliability, and integrity . . . that is
provided by the requirement of an individualized original certification of authenticity.")
(footnote omitted); Cornett v. State, 536 N.E.2d 501, 505-06 (Ind. 1989) (documents
admitted during habitual offender phase of trial were irrelevant and should not have been
admitted, but error was harmless); cf. Mayo v. State, 681 N.E.2d 689, 693 (Ind. 1997) (citing
Indiana Evidence Rule 201 as authorizing judicial notice in habitual offender proceeding).
In contrast, the Indiana Rules of Evidence explicitly exclude sentencing hearings from their
scope. Ind. Evidence Rule 101(c)(2).
In sum, even though a habitual offender determination does not affect guilt or innocence of the underlying crime, it resembles and is treated like a trial in important ways. The panoply of rights and protections accorded an accused repeat offender reflects the seriousness of the charge. As we observed in Griffin: "[T]he potential for an additional thirty year sentence requires the same procedural safeguards as those required for any other charge that takes away an individual's liberty." Griffin, 439 N.E.2d at 163 (reaffirming that habitual offender allegation must be made by sworn affidavit in the charging information). We hold today that a habitual offender determination is a "trial" within the meaning of Rule 4(B). We express no opinion on whether a habitual offender hearing is a trial for any other purposes.
B. Policy considerations
Today's result is also guided by well established rationales underlying the right to a
speedy trial. In holding that Rule 4(B) was not available to Poore, the Court of Appeals
majority reasoned that Poore was being held before the retrial not under the enhancement but
pursuant to the underlying felony. Poore, 660 N.E.2d at 594-95. As the dissent observed,
this has some doctrinal appeal. Id. at 597. Even assuming, however, that Poore would have
been in jail anyway due to his sentence on the burglary conviction, he still would have been
entitled to the benefit of Rule 4(B). In Fossey v. State, 254 Ind. 173, 179-80, 258 N.E.2d
616, 619 (1970), we concluded that judicially-created exceptions to the availability of Rule
4 for a defendant "seeking a trial on a charge pending while he, at the same time, is in jail
on another conviction" could no longer be maintained in light of U.S. Supreme Court
precedent. Without citing Fossey, Gill v. State, 267 Ind. 160, 164, 368 N.E.2d 1159, 1161
(1977) reiterated this proposition: "The fact that incarceration during such post-arraignment
period may also be required by an order in another case does not render Criminal Rule 4
inapplicable." See also Smith v. State, 267 Ind. 167, 170-71, 368 N.E.2d 1154, 1156 (1977)
(discussing Fossey and holding that Rule 4(B) was available to a defendant incarcerated on
another charge only if the defendant was in "exclusive control of the State of Indiana"). We
recently implicitly reaffirmed this aspect of Rule 4(B) in Jackson, which ordered that the
defendant be discharged due to failure to comply with the Rule's time limits. In that case,
Jackson was serving a sentence on unrelated charges at the time he demanded and failed to
receive a speedy trial. Jackson, 663 N.E.2d at 768.
Although Fossey, Gill, and Jackson each involved an accused who requested a speedy trial on one charge while being jailed on another, rather than the "continuation" of one
prosecution as in this case, this is a distinction with little effective difference here. Those
cases stand for the proposition that incarceration due to the pending charge at issue need not
be the only reason the defendant is in jail at the time the speedy trial is requested under Rule
4(B). Stated another way, restraint on liberty is one policy underlying Rule 4(B), but it is
not the only policy. There is also the anxiety and humiliation that can accompany public
accusation. These considerations are unrelated to whether the accused is incarcerated on
other grounds at the time the speedy trial is demanded. Equally importantly, a prompt trial
enables a defendant to make his or her case before exculpatory evidence vanishes or becomes
stale. The Court of Appeals majority concluded that the difficulties caused by the passage
of time can only benefit the defendant by making the State's proof more difficult. Poore, 660
N.E.2d at 595. That is likely true in most cases, but one can imagine scenarios where, for
example, mistaken identity or alibi are in issue and the dimming of memories operates to the
Poore claims, without documenting the point, that under the credit-time rules, Ind. Code § 35-50-6 et seq., he would have been released from prison on the underlying burglary conviction before he was retried as a habitual offender in August of 1994. As of April 6, 1993, Poore had served half of his sentence for burglary. Between that date and April 11, 1994 -- the day the habitual offender enhancement was set aside -- Poore asserts that he was serving time under the enhancement only. Thus, between the time the enhancement was vacated and the jury's habitual offender finding four months later, Poore was at least possibly in jail only because of the pending habitual offender proceeding. The Court of
Appeals majority discussed some of the policy considerations underlying the right to a
speedy trial, but notably absent was this possible restraint on Poore's liberty. The most
fundamental consideration underlying Rule 4(B) is that the State cannot hold an accused
indefinitely: "The purpose served by Crim.R. 4(B) is to prevent a defendant from being
detained in jail for more than 70 days after requesting an early trial." Williams v. State, 631
N.E.2d 485, 486 (Ind. 1994), reh'g denied. Nor may the State hold a pending charge over
the defendant's head. To the contrary, if the accused demands a speedy trial, the State must
proceed, subject to certain exceptions in Rule 4(B) not applicable here. Accordingly, we
hold that the time limits for a speedy trial provided for in Rule 4(B) apply to a retrial of a
habitual offender enhancement.
The State has the prerogative to punish repeat offenders more harshly than other criminals. Recidivist sentencing statutes have been employed in all fifty states and have withstood a number of constitutional challenges. See Parke v. Raley, 506 U.S. 20, 26-28, 113 S.Ct. 517, 521-22, 121 L.Ed.2d 391, 401-02 (1992) (discussing state interest in punishing habitual criminals and legal challenges to recidivism statutes). Nonetheless, much of a defendant's future turns on the outcome of a habitual offender proceeding. The possibility of as much as an additional thirty years added to the sentence for the underlying felony could effectively translate into life imprisonment in some cases. A long line of precedent has made clear that society may hang this dark penal cloud over repeat offenders. However, defendants are entitled to a reasonably prompt adjudication of this determination, especially where, as here, it is possible that the offender is being held on no other charge.
The potential severity of the outcome is all the more reason to enable an accused repeat
offender to make the State prove its case within seventy days as Rule 4(B) provides.
This case does not involve the constitutional right to a speedy trial guaranteed by the Indiana and Federal Constitutions. Rule 4(B) is intended to implement the constitutional right, Clark, 659 N.E.2d at 551, but has some important differences. Notably, we recently held that the seventy-day time limit prescribed by Rule 4(B) is a bright line rule. Prejudice to the defendant in effect is presumed and balancing is not part of the analysis. Jackson, 663 N.E.2d at 770. The State may deprive criminal suspects of their liberty pending the outcome of an unresolved criminal charge, but it must comply with Rule 4(B) in doing so. Without the incentive Rule 4(B) provides for prompt adjudication of criminal prosecutions, an accused could languish in jail essentially at the mercy of judicial or prosecutorial discretion, protected only by the more opaque contours of the constitutional right to a speedy trial. Poore may be a habitual offender on the merits, and he may not have been substantially prejudiced by the delay of a few weeks, but those are not the dispositive issues today. As in Jackson, Poore did not receive the speedy trial he asked for and was entitled to under Rule 4(B). Because none of the Rule's exceptions excuse or explain the delay, the only remedy is discharge. Id.
with respect to all other issues. Ind. Appellate Rule 11(B)(3).
SHEPARD, C.J., and DICKSON and SELBY, JJ., concur.
SULLIVAN, J., dissents with separate opinion.
Gregory L. Caldwell
Attorneys for Appellee
Attorney General of Indiana
Meredith J. Mann
Deputy Attorney General
Gregory L. Caldwell
FLOYD P. POORE,
Appellant (Defendant below),
STATE OF INDIANA,
Appellee (Plaintiff below).
) Supreme Court No.
) Court of Appeals No.
SULLIVAN, Justice, dissenting.
Although addressing itself to the readjudication of habitual offender status after reversal on appeal, Justice Boehm's opinion appears to stand for the proposition that reprosecution of a criminal charge after reversal on appeal is subject to the requirements of Ind. Criminal Rule 4(B). To the extent that the opinion so holds, I dissent. Criminal
Rule 4(B) makes no reference to holding a criminal defendant for reprosecution after
reversal and I do not believe that we should read such a requirement into the rule. This
contrasts to our Crim.R. 12(D)(1) which specifically provides that that rule is applicable
to cases "remanded for a new trial by the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals." Cf.
Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-1-405(2) (1986) ("If trial results in conviction which is reversed on
appeal, any new trial must be commenced within six months after the date of the receipt
by the trial court of the mandate from the appellate court.").
As the majority opinion discusses, two of the most frequently mentioned justifications for the speedy trial rule are to prevent undue and oppressive incarceration prior to trial and to minimize anxiety and concern accompanying public accusation. United States v. Ewell, 383 U.S. 116, 120 (1966). Criminal Rule 4(B) addresses those concerns by requiring the state to be in a reasonably good position to try its case against the accused at the time charges are filed. For if the State is not ready to go to trial, the defendant can exercise his or her rights under the rule and secure discharge. The rule, then, serves to prevent criminal charges from hanging over the head of an accused for extended periods of time while the State assembles its case, all the while subjecting the defendant to undue and oppressive incarceration, anxiety and concern. But because the State picks the date on which charges are filed, the State is in the position of making the judgment, at the time charges are filed, as to whether it will be ready to try the case in 70 days if the accused so demands.
All of this works differently for retrials. No longer is the prosecutor able to start
the clock leading to trial; the court on appeal effectively initiates the time period leading
up to reprosecution. While it is certainly true that the State is to some degree prepared
for any reprosecution by virtue of the fact that it prosecuted the same case before, it
cannot realistically be said that the situations are the same. Several years at least will
have passed since the original trial. (Almost eleven years had passed here.) Personnel in
the prosecutor's office may be different, to say nothing of the availability of witnesses and
evidence. And, of course, the local prosecutor has little basis for knowing when the court
on appeal will rule.
Other jurisdictions have held that their court-promulgated speedy trial rules do not
apply to the reprosecution of criminal charges after reversal on appeal. See State v. Girts,
1997 WL 321109 *7-8 (Ohio App. June 12, 1997); Donalds v. State, 434 A.2d 581 (Md.
1981), aff'g Donalds v. State, 430 A.2d 113, 115 (Md. App. 1981). I would follow the
same rule for our state.
The defendant who secures reversal of his or her conviction on appeal still enjoys the right to a speedy trial under both the United States and Indiana Constitutions. These rights are delineated in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514 (1972), and Fortson v. State, 269 Ind. 161, 168, 379 N.E.2d 147, 152 (1978). Furthermore, a criminal defendant who secures reversal of a conviction or sentence on appeal enjoys a federal due process right
against vindictiveness or retaliation which could well be violated if reprosecution after
reversal on appeal is unreasonably delayed. Cf. North Carolina v. Pearce, 395 U.S. 711,
725 (1969) (Due Process Clause "requires that vindictiveness against a defendant for
having successfully attacked his first conviction must play no part in the sentence he
receives after a new trial."). I believe these constitutional provisions provide sufficient
protection in the circumstance at issue here. To the extent they do not, I believe we
should change our rule, not by case law, but by an amendment that would take into
account the differences between the original trial and reprosecution.
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