Government

Ex-lawmaker drops recount in Democratic congressional race

August 17, 2016
 Associated Press
A state board is set to confirm the winner of the Democratic primary for southwestern Indiana's congressional seat after the losing candidate decided to withdraw his challenge.
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Committee to look at unauthorized immigrant college attendance

August 16, 2016
IL Staff
The Senate Select Committee on Immigration Issues meets for the fourth time Wednesday, where the committee will discuss national security issues and attendance at Indiana colleges and universities by unauthorized immigrants.
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Indiana education committee looks at sexual misconduct

August 16, 2016
 Associated Press
A group of Indiana lawmakers is looking at sexual misconduct in schools to see if legislation is needed in 2017 to help curb abuse.
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Complaints to Indiana board prompted school corp FBI probe

August 15, 2016
 Associated Press
Complaints to an Indiana state agency prompted a federal investigation of Vigo County School Corp.'s "contracting procedures."
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Kentucky lawmakers allow pricey probe of gov's rival to move forward

August 15, 2016
 Associated Press
A $500,000 contract awarded by Kentucky's Republican governor to Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP in Indianapolis investigate his Democratic predecessor has survived a challenge in a state legislative committee.
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Emails heat up lawsuit over sale of Pacers stake

August 15, 2016
Greg Andrews, IBJ Staff
Attorneys for the IRS have gotten their hands on an email that appears to buttress their case that Herb Simon received a sweetheart deal when he acquired his ailing brother Mel’s 50 percent ownership in the Indiana Pacers in early 2009, just a few months before Mel died at age 82.
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DOJ willing to consider settlement in Anthem, Cigna merger

August 12, 2016
 Bloomberg News
A Justice Department lawyer on Friday told the judge in the antitrust case over Anthem Inc.’s $48 billion takeover of Cigna Corp. that the government was willing to hear settlement offers from the companies.
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Parole denied for Hollandsburg slayings convict Smith

August 12, 2016
 Associated Press
The Indiana Parole Board has denied an early release to one of the four men sentenced to four life sentences for a 1977 western Indiana home invasion that left three teenage brothers and their stepbrother dead.
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Legislative panel on judiciary to discuss LGBT civil rights

August 11, 2016
Dave Stafford
"Civil rights issues related to gender identity and sexual orientation” is the lone subject on the agenda for the Interim Study Committee on Courts and the Judiciary’s initial meeting on Aug. 30.
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Legislator plans to introduce hate crime bill this session

August 10, 2016
IL Staff
A state senator from Indianapolis announced Tuesday his intention to again file legislation to enact a hate crime statute in Indiana, one of only five states that does not have this kind of law on the books.
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Judge rejects Durham’s bid to dismiss SEC civil suit

August 10, 2016
Dave Stafford
Ponzi scheme operator Tim Durham has failed to persuade a federal judge to dismiss the government’s civil action against him and other convicted accomplices.
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Judge denies Blagojevich's bid to lighten 14-year sentence

August 10, 2016
 Associated Press
A federal judge refused Tuesday to lighten Rod Blagojevich's original 14-year prison sentence for corruption, rejecting pleas for lenience by the now white-haired former Illinois governor who attended the resentencing hearing by video from a Colorado prison a thousand miles away.
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Legal battles spark EPA to set emission standards for composite wood products

August 10, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Nearly 11 years after the survivors of Hurricane Katrina began blaming their FEMA trailers for their health problems, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a new rule addressing what is believed to have been the main cause of their suffering — formaldehyde.
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2-year program at Madison facility shows positive impact tablets have on behavior

August 10, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The data is still being collected but the staff at the Madison Juvenile Correctional Facility is noticing the nearly 50 incarcerated young women are calmer, not filing as many grievances and reading more books. So what's happening?
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His hair now white, Blagojevich appears for resentencing

August 9, 2016
 Associated Press
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich appeared on a courtroom video in Chicago Tuesday in prison-issued clothing, his once dark hair now white, as a judge weighed whether to cut his 14-year sentence after an appeals court threw out some convictions related to his alleged attempt to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat.
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State seeks mental health, addiction professionals for symposium

August 8, 2016
IL Staff
State agencies hosting a September forum to raise awareness of mental illness and addiction are seeking professionals to discuss solutions at the eighth annual Indiana Annual Recovery Month Symposium Sept. 26-27.
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No criminal charges against city councilman after sexual misconduct investigation

August 5, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
Indianapolis City-County Councilman Zach Adamson said Thursday that he won't face criminal charges after a Marion County special prosecutor finished her investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct.
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Obama shortens terms for 214 prisoners

August 3, 2016
 Associated Press
President Barack Obama on Wednesday cut short the sentences of 214 federal inmates, including 67 life sentences, in what the White House called the largest batch of commutations on a single day in more than a century.
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FBI: 1st US law enforcement officer charged in terror sting

August 3, 2016
 Associated Press
Prosecutors brought the first-ever federal terrorism charges against a law enforcement officer in the U.S., alleging Wednesday that a patrol officer with the D.C. region's Metro Transit Police was caught in sting buying about $250 worth of gift cards for the Islamic State group.
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JPMorgan settlement with Indiana draws interest of other states

August 3, 2016
 Bloomberg News
JPMorgan agreed on July 28 to pay $950,000 to settle claims by the Indiana secretary of state that the bank failed to disclose conflicts of interest to wealthy clients.
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Kentucky hires Indy law firm to probe former governor

August 3, 2016
 Associated Press
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has approved a contract of up to $500,000 for an Indianapolis law firm to investigate his predecessor's administration.
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Inmates secure after setting fire at eastern Indiana jail

August 3, 2016
 Associated Press
Inmates are secured at an eastern Indiana county jail after officials say they started a fire to try to disable locks and access a common area.
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Indianapolis sues emergency dispatch provider for $8.3M

August 2, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
The city of Indianapolis is suing a North Carolina-based public safety software provider for breach of contract, saying it failed to adequately complete a job to install a new computer-aided dispatch system for police, fire and emergency use.
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Legislators plan to introduce bills to protect law enforcement and their families

August 2, 2016
IL Staff
Two Republican members of the Indiana General Assembly have announced just days apart their intentions to introduce legislation in response to recent threats against police officers and the shooting of an off-duty police officer’s home and squad car in Indianapolis.
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State won’t appeal order blocking abortion law

August 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge’s order blocking a divisive and restrictive abortion law signed this year by Gov. Mike Pence will not be appealed, Indiana Lawyer has learned. The decision not to appeal at this time effectively punts a decision on a possible future appeal to new state office-holders to be elected in November.
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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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