Houchin leading effort to reform Indiana criminal code

Houchin leading effort to reform Indiana criminal code

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Under the revised Indiana Criminal Code, sentences for some of the worst drug dealers could be slashed by 80 percent.

“Currently criminals can receive some credits that reduce their sentencing,” Washington County Prosecutor Dustin Houchin said this morning on WSLM’s Morning Show. “We sometimes have a hard time explaining to victims’ families what to expect with sentencing. We are going to recommend that criminals spend a minimum of 75 percent of their sentence behind bars.”

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Houchin also said under the new rule, drug dealers who sell and make Meth would face lighter sentences. “That would be tragic to rural areas. We wouldn’t be able to police these areas if the sentences are lighter.”

Indiana’s Criminal Code was rewritten and adopted by the Indiana Legislature last year – but won’t take effect until July 2014.

Convicted rapists, child molesters and armed robbers could spend no time in prison, as the code calls for fully suspending those sentences at the judge’s discretion.

Those are but a few of the many issues Houchin said must be addressed in the coming legislative session.

He said the rewriting of Indiana’s criminal code, adopted by the Indiana Legislature last year, won’t take effect until July 2014.

“I encourage your listeners to reach out to their legislators to let them know how they feel about these issues,” said Houchin on WSLM’s Coffee Club.

Houchin is vice-chairman of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council and chairman of that organization’s legislative committee. He’s one of the prosecutors taking part in the Senate hearings as legislators develop recommendations for changes.

Houchin is participating in a Senate summer study committee charged with examining Title 35, which covers most other crimes.

“The legislature wisely put the effective date off a year;   they saw the necessity for these changes,” said Houchin. “At the   end of the day, this affects everybody profoundly whether you’re a criminal   defense attorney, family member, victim or citizen who expects a safe   community,” he said.