Criminal code overhaul goes to Pence

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The Indiana Senate Friday passed the legislation that is the first comprehensive reform of the state’s criminal code in more than 35 years. It now goes to Gov. Mike Pence for his signature.

HEA 1006 makes various changes to the criminal code, including changes to community corrections, sentencing, and many crimes. It removes the current four-level felony penalty classification and replaces it with a six-level felony penalty classification.

Certain portions of the bill take effect July 1 of this year; others, such as the reclassification of felonies, are delayed until July 1, 2014.

“Throughout the years, Indiana’s criminal code has gotten out of whack due to piecemeal changes, and some penalties are no longer proportional to the crimes committed. The new system will promote consistency and fairness in criminal sentencing laws and will ultimately help reduce prison costs,” Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, said in a news release. Steele sponsored the House bill in the Senate. The introduced version of the bill was prepared by the Criminal Code Evaluation Commission.

“Today’s legislation, with regard to the criminal code reform, is the culmination of four years of hard work on behalf of an awful lot of legislators and experts in the criminal justice field, and I consider it one of the most important bills that I’ve had the privilege of carrying in my time in the Statehouse,” Steele said. “I hope that the legal system will look back on this in a few years from now and say, ‘That was something that should have been done a long time ago.’”

The full Senate passed the conference committee report by a vote of 35-15. The Indiana House of Representatives approved the report 86-10 on Thursday.

Pence will have seven days from receiving the legislation to sign it into law or veto it. If he does not sign it in seven days, it will become law.



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  1. Lori, you must really love wedding cake stories like this one ... happy enuf ending for you?

  2. This new language about a warning has not been discussed at previous meetings. It's not available online. Since it must be made public knowledge before the vote, does anyone know exactly what it says? Further, this proposal was held up for 5 weeks because members Carol and Lucy insisted that all terms used be defined. So now, definitions are unnecessary and have not been inserted? Beyond these requirements, what is the logic behind giving one free pass to discriminators? Is that how laws work - break it once and that's ok? Just don't do it again? Three members of Carmel's council have done just about everything they can think of to prohibit an anti-discrimination ordinance in Carmel, much to Brainard's consternation, I'm told. These three 'want to be so careful' that they have failed to do what at least 13 other communities, including Martinsville, have already done. It's not being careful. It's standing in the way of what 60% of Carmel residents want. It's hurting CArmel in thT businesses have refused to locate because the council has not gotten with the program. And now they want to give discriminatory one free shot to do so. Unacceptable. Once three members leave the council because they lost their races, the Carmel council will have unanimous approval of the ordinance as originally drafted, not with a one free shot to discriminate freebie. That happens in January 2016. Why give a freebie when all we have to do is wait 3 months and get an ordinance with teeth from Day 1? If nothing else, can you please get s copy from Carmel and post it so we can see what else has changed in the proposal?

  3. Here is an interesting 2012 law review article for any who wish to dive deeper into this subject matter: Excerpt: "Judicial interpretation of the ADA has extended public entity liability to licensing agencies in the licensure and certification of attorneys.49 State bar examiners have the authority to conduct fitness investigations for the purpose of determining whether an applicant is a direct threat to the public.50 A “direct threat” is defined as “a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services as provided by § 35.139.”51 However, bar examiners may not utilize generalizations or stereotypes about the applicant’s disability in concluding that an applicant is a direct threat.52"

  4. We have been on the waiting list since 2009, i was notified almost 4 months ago that we were going to start receiving payments and we still have received nothing. Every time I call I'm told I just have to wait it's in the lawyers hands. Is everyone else still waiting?

  5. I hope you dont mind but to answer my question. What amendment does this case pretain to?