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House OKs feticide bill, sends back to Senate

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Legislation that would increase the penalty for fetal homicide has made it through the Indiana House of Representatives, and now must go back for approval in the Senate where it originated since some changes were made.

On Monday, the House voted 96-0 in support of Senate Bill 236, which would apply to fetuses at any stage of development and enhance the feticide penalty from the current two- to six-year term, to a six- to 20-year penalty. It would also allow an additional six to 20 years of prison time to be added for anyone convicted of murder or attempted murder if they cause pregnancy loss, boosting the feticide penalty from a Class C to a Class B felony.

The only amendment replaced references to the death of a child in utero with new language referring to the termination of a human pregnancy, matching existing language in the state's feticide law. The Senate had passed the bill by a 40-9 vote on Feb. 25, and will now reconsider it with the new language.

Lawmakers leading the effort were Sen. James Merritt and Rep. Mike Murphy, both R-Indianapolis, and Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond. The legislation comes in response to an Indianapolis shooting in April 2008, when a pregnant bank teller was shot in the abdomen and later lost the twin girls she'd been carrying for about six months. One was stillborn, and the other died about five hours after the premature birth.

Current law only allows murder charges to be filed if a fetus has reached "viability," or about seven months. Approximately 37 states have feticide laws and about 18 of those consider the killing of a fetus at any stage to be murder, Merritt noted.

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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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