LETTER: Judges have the power

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These words in IBJ’s editorial [Familiar failures at Statehouse, Feb. 16] about legislative failures are unnecessary:

“… Indiana legislators once again failed to move a bill that would allow judges to consider during sentencing whether a crime was motivated by the victim’s race, religion, gender identity, disability, national origin, ancestry or sexual orientation.”

If you’d read Indiana law, you’d know judges already have the power to increase sentences for any reason if they feel there are mitigating circumstances such as “hate.” They are already free to say: “Your sentence is hereby increased by ‘X’ years because the court feels your action was motivated by hate.”

Your sap to the LGBTQ etc. whiners is unwarranted and suggests some people are worth more than others. That’s wrong. Your editorial does your readers a disservice at a time when you could explain that such a provision already exists.

Punishment for thoughts is a slippery slope toward government mind control; punishment for actions is a necessary curb against wrongdoing.


Bob Palma

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