« Courts - More on "Michigan Supreme Court Justice Hathaway to retire amid scandal" | Main | Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today, declaring unconstitutional Ind. law prohibiting registered sex offenders from using social networking websites »
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Ind. Law - Reactive legislation and quick fixes vs. the big picture
"Indiana panel backs narrower early-release law: College degrees cut sex offenders' time" is the headline to this story today in the Louisville Courier Journal, written by Tom Davies of the Associated Press. The story begins:
INDIANAPOLIS — People convicted of sex offenses wouldn’t be allowed to have their prison sentences shortened by earning college degrees under a proposal supported Tuesday by an Indiana Senate committee.Here are some earlier ILB entries on this issue:
The Senate’s Corrections and Criminal Law Committee voted 8-1 to advance the bill [SB 260], proposed following complaints from victims’ families about the early release last year of a former swimming coach and former church pastor who both were convicted of sexual misconduct with teenage girls.
- May 21, 2012. Ind. Law - "Criminal code needs more than quick fixes" - Terry R. Curry, Marion County prosecutor, had this letter in the Sunday Indianapolis Star. It deals with the law permitting education credits for prisoners, which permitted the early release recently of Christopher Wheat. From the letter:News of Wheat’s release understandably...
- May 4, 2012. Ind. Law - "Marion County Superior Court Judge Carol Orbison protests Wheat's early release" - Updating the second part of this ILB from May 2nd, Dan McFeely reports today in the Indianapolis Star:The judge who sentenced former Lawrence swim coach Chris Wheat to prison has told the Indiana Department of Corrections that allowing Wheat to...
- May 2, 2012. "Ind. Law - Reactive legislation: two stories reflecting different responses" - read the last parts of this entry, quoting the Sentencing Law Blog entry headed "Indiana legislators (over?) reacting to pair of sex offenders earning early prison release" and this quote:
The ILB recalls the Paige Grable case in 2007, which also dealt with the educational-credit program and caused outcry at the time, leading to the passage in 2008 of a bill "clarifying how education credits can be used to reduce an inmate's prison term."
Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, said he agreed with Merritt’s aim of making sexual offenders serve more of their sentence time but worried that the bill might conflict with a larger package overhauling criminal sentencing laws that is making its way through the Indiana House.
That proposal would reduce the maximum college education-time credit from the current four years to two years for all inmates and scale back the amount of good-behavior credit time that inmates convicted of the most serious crimes could receive. * * *
[Merritt's bill] would still allow those convicted of rape, child molestation, child seduction and other sexual crimes to get early release time for earning a GED or completing rehabilitation programs.
Merritt said he disagreed with arguments that it was improper to block sex offenders from being able to earn release credits like other inmates.
“I believe those are heinous crimes and should be treated different,” he said.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 23, 2013 10:31 AM
Posted to Indiana Law