Government

Senator seeks stiffer punishment for decapitations

October 29, 2014
 Associated Press
The chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee says Indiana needs stronger penalties for decapitation.
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Judges affirm DOE can counterclaim for repayment of student loans

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court that the U.S. Department of Education’s counterclaim for loan repayment, filed in a man’s lawsuit seeking to not have to repay his student loans, is not barred.
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Man charged with stalking Indiana legislator

October 28, 2014
 Associated Press
A man running as an independent for an Indiana House seat faces charges that he stalked the district's current representative.
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Texas prosecutor: Indiana suspect's history unknown

October 28, 2014
 Associated Press
Texas prosecutors may not have offered a suspected serial killer such a lenient prison sentence in a 2009 sexual assault case had they known about his conviction on a similar charge in Indiana five years earlier, a district attorney's spokesman said Monday.
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Indiana Legal Services still planning to hire new executive director by year’s end

October 27, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Still set on hiring a new executive director by the end of the year, Indiana Legal Services Inc. has narrowed it search to six candidates.
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Acquitted ex-Ind. trooper sues police, prosecutors

October 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A former Indiana State Police trooper acquitted in the slayings of his wife and two children has sued prosecutors, investigators and others for false imprisonment and other counts.
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Indiana rejects fired DCS workers' appeals

October 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A state agency has rejected the appeals of two former Indiana child-welfare workers fired following the death of a paralyzed young woman.
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AG’s office: Same-sex marriage fight cost state about $7,000

October 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
Responding to requests from Indiana Democrats, the Office of Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller on Friday afternoon released records arguing the state’s defense of statutes banning same-sex marriage cost the state about $7,000.
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Wabash alumnus calls for reasoned and thoughtful political speech

October 24, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
While the supporters of the Citizens United decision claim greater spending can energize the public to participate in the political process, First Amendment attorney David Kendall maintains the result has actually been less-thoughtful political speech and an influx of Congressional members who are more concerned with fundraising than setting policy.
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Legislative committee recommends making annexations more difficult

October 23, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The legislative committee examining Indiana’s annexation laws underscored how complex and difficult the issue is when committee members looked at the laws Wednesday. The members took a third of the time allotted for the meeting to decide that a remonstrance should succeed if a simple majority of property owners oppose a municipality’s effort to incorporate their land.
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Zoeller details casino millions funneled to E. Chicago pols

October 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
A former Indiana Democratic Party chairman and a longtime Lake County political activist enriched themselves with millions of dollars in casino revenue, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Wednesday, closing the book on long-running litigation that resulted in a $154,042 settlement payment to the city of East Chicago.
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Indiana responds to convicted ex-officer's appeal

October 22, 2014
 Associated Press
Indiana has responded to a former Indianapolis police officer's appeal of his convictions in a fatal drunken driving crash.
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SCOTUS denial of cases opens door to new same-sex-couple issues

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Indiana, the courts will have to settle issues and questions that will arise in other areas, such as family law.
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Attorneys debate impact of reality crime TV shows on the judicial process

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The reality television show “Cold Justice” linked Earl Taylor to the 1975 murder of his first wife, Kathy Taylor. Dennis Majewski, Earl Taylor's attorney, said the TV program carried by the TNT cable network, and a follow-up newspaper article that told viewers the episode was available on YouTube, led him to doubt he could find an untainted jury in Vigo County.
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Lawmakers in no rush to fix Marion County’s judicial selection process

October 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
Marion County’s unique power-sharing judicial-election system won’t be fixed anytime soon, even though a federal judge has ruled the four-decade-old system is unconstitutional.
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When municipal growth clashes with property owners, the result is annexation headaches

October 22, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A 644-acre swath of rural Hancock County land is at the heart of a contentious annexation battle that illustrates what municipalities say is the need to get control of property before development happens. The case also brings to light what may be a shift in the judiciary’s attitude toward remonstrators.
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Public-private partnerships’ popularity peaking

October 22, 2014
Dave Stafford
In an era of tight lending for construction, public-private partnerships are a solution to get desired projects funded and under way. Attorneys who represent parties in such deals say nuanced negotiations hold the key for deals with a shared vision but sometimes competing interests.
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Judges participate in public forum asking ‘Is Indianapolis the next Ferguson?’

October 21, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A public forum in Indianapolis between law enforcement and the community meant to discuss ways the Circle City could avoid exploding like Ferguson, Missouri, instead highlighted the distrust local residents have of police officers.
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St. Joseph County gets $399,000 grant to fight elder abuse

October 21, 2014
IL Staff
St. Joseph County will receive a $399,000 Department of Justice grant for training and services designed to combat violence against elderly and vulnerable populations.
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Pain clinic head faces prescription investigation

October 21, 2014
 Associated Press
State officials want the medical license suspended for a doctor who runs a string of Indiana clinics over his prescribing of pain medications.
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Indiana panel not making ethics suggestions

October 21, 2014
 Associated Press
A state legislative panel isn't making any recommendations on ethics rule changes that the General Assembly is expected to consider during its upcoming session.
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Finding victims in Gary case a lengthy process

October 21, 2014
 Associated Press
Investigators in two states are reviewing unsolved murders and missing person reports after the arrest of an Indiana man who police say confessed to killing seven women and hinted at more victims over a 20-year span.
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Attorneys general target Internet trafficking

October 21, 2014
 Associated Press
Two years after a federal judge struck down a Washington law that targeted websites like Backpage.com, new state and federal efforts are again calling for more oversight of sites that offer "adult services," in the hopes of curbing sex trafficking.
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NDLS loan repayment program growing in dollars and applications

October 20, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Notre Dame Law School’s program to assist its graduates who pursue careers in the public service sector has reached the $1 million milestone.
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Drug abuse symposium attracts 800

October 17, 2014
IL Staff
About 800 Indiana health professional, lawmakers, law-enforcement officials and others gathered in Indianapolis Friday for the beginning of a two-day symposium focused on combating prescription drug abuse.
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  1. OK so I'll make this as short as I can. I got a call that my daughter was smoking in the bathroom only her and one other girl was questioned mind you four others left before them anyways they proceeded to interrogate my daughter about smoking and all this time I nor my parents got a phone call,they proceeded to go through her belongings and also pretty much striped searched my daughter including from what my mother said they looked at her Brest without my consent. I am furious also a couple months ago my son hurt his foot and I was never called and it got worse during the day but the way some of the teachers have been treating my kids they are not comfortable going to them because they feel like they are mean or don't care. This is unacceptable in my mind i should be able to send my kids to school without worry but now I worry how the adults there are treating them. I have a lot more but I wanted to know do I have any attempt at a lawsuit because like I said there is more that's just some of what my kids are going through. Please respond. Sincerely concerned single parent

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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