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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. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

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