Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Opinion

October 4, 2013

Reform needed for Indiana's criminal code

During the 2013 legislative session, the General Assembly took positive steps in enacting the first comprehensive criminal code reform since 1977 in House Enrolled Act 1006. This was a significant step toward a better criminal justice system in Indiana.

Included in the reforms are requirements that felons serve 75 percent of their sentences and increases in penalties for some violent crimes. The Legislature delayed the effective date of the new code to July 1, 2014, to allow time to encourage a review of the proposed law and potential changes to HEA 1006 in its current form.

Prosecutors believe that the Indiana criminal code must serve and protect the citizens of Indiana. We support the positive changes in HEA 1006 and the proposition that the Legislature should fund rehabilitative services for those with substance addiction. As the Indiana Legislature continues to review the Indiana criminal code in the 2014 legislative session, protecting Hoosiers should be the top priority. Prosecutors are advocating for additional critical improvements to ensure safety and protection of Hoosiers.

As written, HEA 1006 dramatically reduces penalties for drug dealers and manufacturers. Prosecutors believe that our communities must be protected from manufacturers and dealers of drugs such as meth, heroin and cocaine. With the seizure of over 1,700 meth labs in Indiana last year (third in the United States) and the sharp increase in heroin use and overdoses, we cannot support dramatic reductions in penalties for dealers of these drugs. Indiana needs a strong response to those who seek to destroy our communities through these activities.

Additionally, HEA 1006 currently allows sentences for nearly every crime to be fully suspended – no incarceration. Prosecutors strongly believe that serious felons should not be eligible to receive a fully suspended sentence. A rapist, a child molester, a felon who committed an armed robbery – all of these offenders would be eligible for suspended sentences under HEA 1006. This is a significant change from longstanding law, and prosecutors will seek to have this amended.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Low college attainment puts Indiana at a disadvantage For many of us, the phrase Big 10 brings to mind the spirited competition that comes with college sports. It may make us think of rivalries on basketball courts and football fields that have endured decades, tied to our pride in an alma mater or fami

    July 15, 2014

  • New laws benefit Hoosier families The beginning of July has taken on new meaning since I first began serving as your state representative. Not only does it signify the start of a new month, it also represents when many new laws take effect in Indiana. As a continuous advocate for chi

    July 15, 2014

  • Overlooking state's working poor has economic costs The Pence administration is calling for a review of the Indiana tax code. The top goals are to simplify the code and to promote economic development. But another worthy goal, one that would boost the Indiana economy, is missing.First, if the governme

    July 11, 2014

  • Financial hardships mount for military families Days before the July 4th holiday, Holly Petraeus stood on the steps of the imposing Indiana War Memorial in Indianapolis, in front of a bank of cameras, and made a plea to military families: Don’t let pride stand in the way of asking for help. It was

    July 11, 2014

  • I'm thankful for our veterans' sacrifices On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, giving birth to a new nation. To Great Britain and the rest of the world, the U.S. proclaimed itself the proud home of free people. Since that day, on more than one occasion, this freedom h

    July 11, 2014

  • St. Andrews supports food program Dear Editor,St. Andrews Health Campus and its employees are committed to compassionate care that extends well beyond the residents St. Andrews serves. Executive director Gwen Reverman and her staff demonstrate their enduring commitment to this princi

    July 11, 2014

  • Golf classic support appreciated Dear Editor, Oldenburg Academy's 23rd Annual Pro-Am Golf Classic Committee would like to thank the many businesses and individuals who supported our golf outing, especially our event sponsors, food sponsors, advertising buyers and gift donors, along

    July 3, 2014

  • July 4 is a day to cherish liberty My name is John Hosbrook, and I died 216 years ago. My family has asked me to take you on a tour of our Patriot Past. They said you might need a refresher since Twitter, texting and TV dance shows have made you a mite forgetful. Why was I selected fo

    July 3, 2014

  • Homegrown spirits return to state fair INDIANAPOLIS - Mark Webb is counting on patrons of the Indiana State Fair to be better behaved this summer than they were in 1946, when a celebratory post-war crowd almost trashed the place. The bad behavior of beer drinkers 68 years ago is what led

    July 3, 2014

  • A dozen colleges do the conference shuffle The most tenured coach at the University of Louisville might not find joining a new athletic conference so special. But for tennis coach Rex Ecarma, the Cardinals’ move is a moment to celebrate.Ecarma has been at Louisville for 23 seasons, battling t

    July 3, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Facebook