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. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues