Editorial

Editorial: Rule changes still lack needed transparency

March 23, 2016
IL Staff
A proposed overhaul of Admission and Discipline Rule 23 contains some good ideas among the 108 pages of side-by-side comparisons of the old and the new. But the proposals would do little to deprogram the Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission’s culture of confidentiality or boost public confidence in the agency that polices Indiana attorneys.
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Indiana Lawyer announces Leadership in Law honorees

April 25, 2012
Kelly Lucas
The nominations received tell the story of impressive court victories and decisions that have had an impact on Indiana law. But even more telling is the passion that comes through in many of the nomination packets and letters of recommendation from colleagues, peers and even adversaries who say they are better lawyers for having worked with the individual nominated.
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Lucas: Maintaining your Thanksgiving state of mind

November 23, 2011
Kelly Lucas
IL Editor Kelly Lucas writes about keeping a focus on issues of importance and that maintain sense of gratitude.
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Lucas: State bar emphasizes attorney wellness in 2012

November 9, 2011
Kelly Lucas
Editor Kelly Lucas writes about the Indiana State Bar Association's emphasis on attorney fitness and wellness.
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IL Editorial: The cynic asks: yVote! or why vote?

August 31, 2011
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
Marion County Clerk Beth White has started her yVote! program, which we believe to be a wonderful undertaking. She travels to any Marion County high school that will have her in to teach civics.
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Barnes used as excuse to challenge merit selection

June 22, 2011
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
We surmised it would only be a matter of time before the clamor began, but we were a little taken aback at how few days passed after the Indiana Supreme Court decision in Barnes v. State was issued before a legislator told us he would put together a proposal to change the merit selection process that’s been in place for our appellate courts for nearly 40 years.
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Editorial: Threats are inappropriate way to voice an opinion

May 25, 2011
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
What we want to address here is the troubling descent into madness that has appeared alongside the reasonable discourse on the subject of the recent Indiana Supreme Court decision Barnes v. State .
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Editorial: Lake Co. merit selection is back on the table

April 27, 2011
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
It’s at the end of House Bill 1266, and we have no idea whether the legislation has a chance at passage by the April 29 session deadline, but we had to go back and read it twice before we believed what we were seeing.
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Editorial: More of the same?

April 13, 2011
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
They’re back, and like most citizens who watch with interest the goings on in the Indiana General Assembly, we’re not sure it’s altogether a good thing.
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Editorial: In this war of words, will anyone win?

March 30, 2011
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
At more than 30 days and counting, at least at Indiana Lawyer deadline, we’re not sure what will cause the Democrats elected to the Indiana House of Representatives to return to their posts at the Statehouse.
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Editorial - SB 590: An Arizona-style invitation for litigation

March 16, 2011
The past weeks have brought heated debate about immigration policy to our state. The Indiana General Assembly is currently considering various anti-immigrant bills. Among them is Senate Bill 590, modeled after Arizona’s immigration law. Currently being challenged in Federal District Court on constitutional grounds, Arizona’s law has invited much criticism and proved costly to the state’s economy. Indiana should not be next in line.
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Editorial: Stalemate leaves constituents without a voice

March 2, 2011
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
There’s a lot of shouting and political posturing going on, but we’re not at all certain there’s much in the way of listening and compromising taking place.
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Editorial: All who serve as judges should be lawyers

February 16, 2011
Judges Mark Stoner and Terry Shewmaker explain why a proposed bill would protect Hoosiers' rights by making sure that law-trained judges preside over all cases in Indiana.
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Editorial: Home is where the heart is for Mr. Copsey

February 2, 2011
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
We often think of law enforcement officers and firefighters as first-responder types who venture into situations where others are reluctant to go. We’d like to expand the definition of first responder a bit, and bring your attention to an Indianapolis lawyer who after retiring from his day job years ago decided he wasn’t quite done practicing law.
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Editorial: Subpoenas for advocates raise concerns

January 19, 2011
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
In our culture, someone accused of a crime gets a vigorous defense to make certain all of the accused person’s constitutional rights are protected. This is as it should be. Those faced with the loss of their liberty or life deserve no less than the best defense that can be put forth.
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Editorial: Election Day 2010 provides cause for concern

December 8, 2010
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
Here's to hoping reason and sanity will prevail, but we're not holding our breath.
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Editorial: Human trafficking is local issue

November 10, 2010
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
It’s a silent and devastating problem going on right under our noses, and it’s going to take courage and a willingness to ask invasive and uncomfortable questions to stop it.
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Editorial: Ted Boehm not headed toward retirement

October 27, 2010
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
This was one retirement ceremony we were not looking forward to attending, fearing that the gentleman stepping away from the bench would slip away from public life and live quietly with his family, indulging his interests outside the law, while working as a mediator at Van Winkle Baten Rimstidt and senior judging for the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Editorial: New justice brings much to appreciate

September 29, 2010
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
The state still needs to address the elephant in the room.
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Editorial: Maybe there's a reason she doesn't just leave

September 15, 2010
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
Why doesn’t she just leave?
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Editorial: Preservation of judicial impartiality a win

September 1, 2010
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
Here at the newspaper, we don’t like to see anything put the brakes on the sharing of opinions.
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Editorial: Nature of work requires adequate safety plan

August 18, 2010
IL Staff
A few days after then-U.S. District Court Judge David Hamilton ruled in late 2005 in Anthony Hinrichs, et al. v. Brian Bosma, et al., that sectarian prayer could not be used to open legislative sessions, we received a phone call from someone who wanted the judge’s e-mail address and contact information. We declined to give that information.
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Editorial: Remove obstacles that discourage voters

August 4, 2010
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
Casting a ballot in an election ought to be a simple thing for a citizen to do. But there are those who would make it as difficult as possible for some to exercise their franchise.
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Editorial: Concerns about budget cuts warranted

July 21, 2010
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
We believe the state of Indiana has hit bone with a budget cut instituted earlier this month.
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Editorial: Next choice for Indiana Supreme Court must be a woman

July 7, 2010
Editorial Indiana Lawyer
The future is now for the high court.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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