Criminal Law – Delay in Imposition of Sentence as Destroying Jurisdiction of Trial Court

Defendant was tried for burglary in April 1952. Before judgment was rendered, a petition for his commitment to the Indiana Village for Epileptics was granted, and the trial court entered judgment in July 1952 that it continue the matter under advisement so long as defendant remained in the Epileptic Village and complied with the rules and regulations. In September 1952 defendant escaped from the Epileptic Village and was later apprehended. He was brought to trial in April 1953. The court found that he had not complied with the judgment of July 1952, found him guilty as charged, and sentenced him to ten to twenty years. On appeal, defendant asserted that the trial court had lost its jurisdiction of his person by the long delay in passing sentence. Held, judgment reversed. On the basis of the Indiana Constitution’s guaranty of a speedy trial, and established precedent, defendant was entitled to have sentence pronounced with reasonable promptness, and unusual delay, not for some recognized purpose, deprives the court of jurisdiction of the defendant’s person. Taylor v. State, (Ind. 1954) 120 N.E. (2d) 165.