Sophia Voravong has an article about the criminal appeal (pdf) of Jeffrey Akard (h/t Indiana Law Blog) that backfired on him. (As luck would have it, I had a brief and relatively inconsequential encounter with Mr. Akard, defending against a civil complaint he filed.)
The upshot is that, for the first time anyone can remember, the Court of Appeals used its discretion to increase a criminal defendant’s sentence on appeal. The Court of Appeals has maintained that it had the authority to revise a sentence up or down on review, but to date had only used that authority to revise it downward. It had noted that it would take an extraordinary case to revise a sentence the other way. Apparently Mr. Akard presented just such a case. They revised it upward from 93 years to 118 years. (And this will be served after he finishes a 14 year federal sentence for possession of child pornography.)
The facts of the case described in the Court of Appeals decision paints the picture of a sick s.o.b., involving abduction, rape, tasering, dressing his victim up to look like a child, and a number of other twisted elements.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see if it affects the eagerness of criminal defendants to appeal their sentences. In the past, there has been a sense that they have nothing to lose. Now, there might be at least an element of cautiousness about whether an appeal could actually increase their sentence.