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Judges, prosecutor at odds over 12-hour rule for Indy arrestees

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Marion Superior judges Friday delayed enacting a policy opposed by Prosecutor Terry Curry that would ensure major felony suspects a probable cause determination within 12 hours of arrest.

Judge Lisa Borges said at a meeting of the Marion Superior Executive Committee that criminal judges officially backed the policy recommended by the Indianapolis Office of Corporation Counsel, since currently those arrested for less serious offenses already receive a determination within 12 hours. Borges said people arrested on suspicion of major felonies are immediately transported to the Marion County Jail after processing.

Borges said representatives of the prosecutor’s office voiced their objections to the policy during public meetings, but judges were acting on recommendations from county attorneys who advised that the county could be liable for having different standards for similarly situated arrestees.

If the policy were enacted, Borges said, suspects would be released if there was no probable cause determination within 12 hours of arrest.

Executive Committee Chairman Judge David Certo criticized Curry for sending judges an email about an hour before the committee meeting requesting enactment of the policy change be delayed. Certo encouraged Curry to explain to the committee why the policy shouldn’t be adopted at its next meeting July 8.

“I would expect the elected prosecutor in this room,” Marion Superior Criminal Division 9 Judge Marc Rothenberg said.

“It is not unknown in the community what the legal ramifications might be” of holding an arrestee longer than 12 hours without a PC determination, Rothenberg said.

“We have a responsibility as a court,” he said. “…It’s frustrating we can’t get it done now.”

Judges grudgingly delayed acting on the proposal and Certo said that as a courtesy the committee should give Curry an opportunity to explain why the courts shouldn’t adopt the rule.

Judges James Osborn and John Chavis said the courts also have an obligation to protect public safety, and that the committee should allow Curry to present any concerns that may not have previously been raised.

Chavis said he was sensitive to the need to ensure timely release of people wrongly arrested, but he said public safety also needs to be weighed. “I think there are valid concerns on both sides,” he said.

The committee’s next public meeting is at noon July 8 in Room 1221 of the City-County Building.  
 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

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