Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed two bills today that could significantly transform Indiana’s criminal judicial system.
The governor signed House Enrolled Act 1006, which reforms the state’s criminal code, and HEA 1482, which enables the courts to expunge the criminal records of certain offenders.
“Indiana should be the worst place in America to commit a serious crime and the best place, once you’ve done your time, to get a second chance,” Pence said.
HEA 1006, authored by Rep. Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, mandates that individuals convicted of a felony serve at least 75 percent of their sentence. It also provides for alternative sentencing for lower-level felonies.
The legislation was the product of the Criminal Code Evaluation Commission which sought to add proportionality to the criminal code and certainty in sentencing. Among the recommended changes: Felonies will be expanded from four classes to six.
With an effective date of July 1, 2014, the new law will return to summer study committee to tweak the language and take a closer look at funding for community corrections.
“HEA 1006 lays the foundation for the revision of Indiana’s criminal code for the first time in 30-plus years,” Steuerwald said. “It provides for certainty in sentencing as we must provide that the most violent offenders are sentenced for a more definite period. Victims will be fully informed of how long the offender’s sentence will actually be.”
HEA 1482, authored by Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, provides an opportunity for certain individuals with felony convictions to have their records expunged.