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Senate passes new criminal sentencing rules

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A major overhaul of Indiana's criminal sentencing laws aimed at sending fewer non-violent offenders to prison has been approved by the state Senate.

The Senate voted 46-4 in favor of the bill Wednesday. It now goes back to the House, which earlier approved a different version.

Supporters hope changes to sentencing laws will direct more people convicted of low-level felonies to work release and other local programs. It also would require those convicted of the most-serious crimes to spend more time in prison.

The overhaul wouldn't take effect until July 2014 and Sen. Brent Steele says he expects the Legislature will consider many changes on specific crimes next year.

A state analysis projects the overhaul will prevent the need for more state prison space for at least a decade.

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  • top people
    They should be worried about getting the top people, not the small fry. It's the ones with the money who does not get put in jail.
  • Pence's Pot Policy?
    Is possession still a felony? As I smoked a little grass in college 45 years ago, I'm glad this posse did not convict me of a felony, thereby destroying my life, future, and long career as an IN teacher. The felony folly is draconian. As a former staunch Republican, I can't wait to vote Pence out, and someone will have to undo the damage he's done to this state - and his victims.
  • Drugs
    Drugs are a serious crime. They destroy families, children, and neighborhoods. These people need to be punished
  • drop pot
    It would also be nice if the House drops the new Marijuana language back to some reasonable level where 50% of the voting public would not be considered felons!
  • Bill Number?
    It would be nice if you included the bill number when talking about legislation.

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