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Monday, May 11, 2015

Ind. Courts - "Johnson County prosecutor blasts criminal code revisions in rape case"

Jill Disis of the Indianapolis Star reported May 8th in a story that begins:

Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper this week announced formal rape, burglary and confinement charges against the Beech Grove man accused of raping and assaulting an elderly Greenwood woman last Friday.

If convicted on every count, Ira S. Link could face up to 63 years in prison, of which he would have to serve at least 47 years.

But for Cooper, that potential prison sentence isn't enough. Instead, he said the amount of prison time Link faces spotlights what he called several major concerns with the state's recently revamped criminal code.

"Based on the changes that they made for the exact same acts, the exact same crime, he's facing substantially less," Cooper said. "He is facing half as much time this year as he was last year because of the change to the criminal code." * * *

"Repeal the entire damn thing," Cooper said. "Go back to the old system. It wasn't broken."

Lawmakers, however, felt it was. The criminal code overhaul legislation, known as House Enrolled Act 1006, went into effect July 1. It was the most significant change to the state's criminal code in 30 years. * * *

Indiana State Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, a major player involved in the revised code, said * * * the new code still preserved the harshest sentences for the worst offenders, and he pointed to a requirement in the new code that prisoners are required to serve 75 percent of their sentence, rather than the 50 percent that was required under the old code.

Refer to the story for much more detail.

Prosecutor Johnson also issued a one-page press release on the charges against Ira Link. It includes a reference many may find offensive. It addition, the release appears to prejudge the guilt of Mr. Link:

Johnson County Prosecutor Bradley D. Cooper announces that he formally charged Ira Link (42) with the following: * * *

Had Link committed these crimes prior to the Indiana Legislature changing the criminal laws last year, Link would have faced up to 168 years in prison if convicted and would not be eligible for early release.

Prosecutor Cooper refers to these new sentence reduction laws as "Hug a Thug" legislation and believes this instance is a prime example of why these laws should be repealed.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 11, 2015 03:50 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts