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Legislative committee to look at Barnes decision

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Not since daylight-saving time has an issue agitated Sen. Brent Steele’s constituents as much as the recent decision by the Indiana Supreme Court on illegal police entry.

Steele, R-Bedford, said a lot of people are upset over the decision in Barnes v. State, handed down by a split Supreme Court in May, which ended the common-law right to resist illegal entry into a home by police. Steele said the ruling flies in the face of the Castle Doctrine, codified in Indiana Code 35-41-3-2 in 2006, which says that a person is justified in using reasonable force and doesn’t have a duty to retreat if the person reasonably believes that force is necessary to prevent or terminate someone’s unlawful entry or attack on the person’s home.

Now, Steele and other legislators are going to address the fallout from the decision in a special committee.

Chair of the Legislative Council, President Pro Tempore Sen. David Long, R-Fort Wayne, asked Steele to chair the committee created Tuesday to look into the Barnes decision. The committee is also comprised of Sen. Tim Lanane; D-Anderson, Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond, who is a former police officer; and Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero. The committee plans on meeting toward the end of June. Steele said even if the Supreme Court rehears the case and alters or narrows its decision, the Legislature still must act.

“There will be a decision some day that comes on the Fourth (Amendment), and (the justices) will say the Legislature didn’t do anything” so it will be up the court to interpret statute, he said.

One of the possible solutions is to put into code all of the exigent circumstances that could be used to justify a warrantless entry, but Steele isn’t sure yet what decisions the committee may make. They will complete a final report with suggested solutions by the end of October.

 “We are going to fix it,” he said.

In addition to the study committee on the Barnes decision, the Legislative Council released the topics interim study committees will be looking into this summer. They include redistricting, sex crimes against children, critical problems in the criminal justice and corrections systems, and sentencing issues. A complete list is available on the General Assembly’s website.

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  1. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  2. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  3. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  4. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  5. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

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