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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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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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