Government

Steuerwald: Lawmakers rewriting Indiana's outdated criminal code

January 30, 2013
Rewriting Indiana’s criminal code is an issue that my colleagues and I have spent years analyzing. The code has been enhanced in the past, but there has not been a significant overhaul since 1977.
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Bales defense: Elkhart deal was a 'scheme to help'

January 29, 2013
Cory Schouten
Facing a looming deadline to find suitable office space for the state Department of Child Services and the prospect that abused or neglected children in Elkhart County could go without services, real estate broker John M. Bales and partner Bill Spencer in 2008 dipped into their own pockets to help close a difficult lease deal, their defense attorneys contend.
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Lawmakers amend bill to restrict sex offenders’ access to social media

January 29, 2013
IL Staff
In response to a ruling by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, two Indiana lawmakers have introduced a proposal restricting sex offenders from using social media sites.
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Marion County Clerk offering sweethearts a chance to say ‘I do’ to a healthy cause

January 28, 2013
IL Staff
While giving your heart to your Valentine, you can also help keep other hearts healthy.
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Lawmakers discuss same-sex marriage and criminal code revisions at IU McKinney Law School

January 23, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Two Republican lawmakers are backing off support for holding a second vote on the same-sex marriage amendment, advocating the Legislature take a wait-and-see approach.
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Senate judiciary committee to look at abuse, DNA bills

January 22, 2013
IL Staff
The Senate Judiciary Committee meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday and has five bills on its agenda, including legislation that redefines child fatality committees in each county.
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7th Circuit orders SSA take another look at woman’s case

January 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the administrative law judge hearing a southern Indiana woman’s claim for disability insurance benefits made several errors in his consideration of the record, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to the Social Security Administration for more proceedings.
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Probate, child seduction bills move out of committees

January 17, 2013
IL Staff
Several bills moved out of legislative committee this week, including one that would expand the definition of child seduction to include a mental health professional engaging in certain sexual behavior with a patient between 16 and 18 years old.
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Senator files bill restricting educational credit time for sex offenders

January 16, 2013
IL Staff
Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, announced Wednesday that he has introduced legislation to revise the state’s education credit law for sex offenders. He said eight months ago that he would seek to change the law after a sex offender was released early after earning this type of credit.
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Lake Superior judge to be honored for service at MLK event

January 16, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Gov. Mike Pence will recognize four people for their service and commitment to the community, including Lake Superior Judge Calvin D. Hawkins, at an event honoring the life and works of Martin Luther King Jr. Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at the Indiana Statehouse.
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Indiana Democrats trying to jumpstart conversation on health care

January 16, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A coalition of Democratic senators and representatives gathered at the Indiana Statehouse Wednesday morning to “jumpstart the conversation” on health care exchanges and Medicaid expansion.
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Sequestration would deepen staff cuts, chief judges warn

January 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
Federal courts that have squeezed staff as budgets shrank could be forced to furlough employees if Congress fails to avoid mandatory budget cuts that now are slated to take effect in March.
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Round 2 for hunting and marriage amendments

January 16, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although changing the Indiana Constitution is not easy, attempts to amend are common and the 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly could see two proposed amendments come to the floor for a second vote. One amendment would protect Hoosiers’ right to hunt while the other would restrict their right to marry.
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Protecting students from the worst

January 16, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
An increased focus on school safety is expected in Indiana Legislature this session.
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Democrats' walkout leads to another 'fines' mess

January 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
Before the Indiana General Assembly convened Jan. 7, some unfinished business was debated in the Statehouse: whether Republican House leaders went too far in seizing fines from Democrats who walked out of the Legislature in 2011 and 2012.
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Ruling: DOC 'indifferent' to mentally ill inmates

January 16, 2013
Dave Stafford
The opinion from the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana fits the national trend against isolation policy for these inmates.
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Smartphones replacing cash

January 16, 2013
Mobile payments are becoming popular, but consumers must proactively protect against fraud.
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Zoeller appoints Washington-based deputy AG

January 14, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has named a deputy who will monitor federal legislation and regulations in Washington that could impact the state.
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House Judiciary, Senate Corrections committees to meet

January 14, 2013
IL Staff
The House Judiciary Committee this afternoon is conducting hearings on a pair of bills, and the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee will meet Tuesday.
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Zoeller takes oath for second term

January 14, 2013
IL Staff
Attorney General Greg Zoeller took the oath of office on Monday, officially beginning his second term.
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AG asks Supreme Court to review Gingerich conviction

January 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversal of an adult murder conspiracy conviction of a then-12-year-old should be reviewed by the state Supreme Court, Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a statement late Thursday.
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Speedway agreement pledges ADA compliance

January 10, 2013
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Thursday it will pursue full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act in what an attorney involved in the matter said could be the largest settlement agreement under the 1990 law.
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Bill on habitual offender filing deadline moves out of committee

January 10, 2013
IL Staff
The Senate Committee on Corrections & Criminal Law voted this week to move legislation that will allow an indictment or information to be amended to include a habitual offender charge at any time before trial, as long as the amendment doesn’t prejudice the substantial rights of the defendant.
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AG sues Carmel business over undelivered Colts, sports memorabilia

January 7, 2013
IL Staff
A Carmel business and its owner face a state consumer protection lawsuit over accusations that the company bilked customers who used its website to pay for autographed photos and memorabilia of Indianapolis Colts player Reggie Wayne and former Colts Peyton Manning and Gary Brackett.
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General Assembly begins 2013 session

January 7, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana General Assembly convenes for the 2013 legislative session today with a new governor, many first-time legislators and a Republican supermajority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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