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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ind. Decisions - More on "Third trial ordered for Camm"

"Another Camm trial would put strain on county’s finances" is the headline to this story today by Chris Morris of the New Albany / Jeffersonville News & Tribune:

Prosecuting the two David Camm murder trials and subsequent appeals have cost Floyd County taxpayers $2 million, according to the auditor’s office.

That total likely will grow following Friday’s decision by the Indiana Supreme Court to toss out Camm’s murder conviction.

“I don’t know what we’ll do,” said County Councilman Larry McAllister. “It’s like pushing us off a cliff.”

Floyd County is facing a financial hardship following the recent economic downturn, which has produced fewer tax dollars. County Council President

Ted Heavrin said there is $50,000 set aside for a possible third Camm trial.

The county also would receive funds from the state for a retrial. According to Indiana Code 35-38-4-7, the maximum amount that may be reimbursed for all proceedings and all offenses arising out of the same facts is $50,000. The maximum amount that may be paid in any particular year for all expenses otherwise eligible for reimbursement under this section is $1 million.

“We don’t have a choice now,” Heavrin said of a possible third trial.

State Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, said he is going to look into the growing trial costs facing Floyd and other border counties.

He said the problem is ongoing, as some crimes are committed in counties by people in other states, but counties bear the burden of the trial costs.

“It’s an issue I have been really interested in,” Clere said. “There are necessary costs associated with insuring justice. But there is room for discussion on how those costs should be allocated between local government and the state.”

The ILB has had a number of entries on the costs of death penalty cases at the state and local level, including this one from Feb. 25th.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 27, 2009 09:54 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions