Criminal Justice

Steve Baker / https://www.flickr.com/photos/littlebiglens/18597931390

Plans for the first service of the First Church of Cannabis could go up in smoke if anyone partakes of the namesake drug. Marijuana legalization activist Bill Levin  started his church on the day Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, and says he plans to hold the church’s first service on July 1.

"I'll give a short sermon, I mean real short, and do church announcements the way you’re supposed to do," Levin says. "Then we’ll all rise, read the deity dozen, and at the end of the deity dozen we will celebrate life and light up."

Criminal Justice Institute Grants To Quintuple In 2015

Jun 22, 2015
Indiana Criminal Justice Institute

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute is giving out five times more funding this year than it did last year.     

The federal government gave the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute $40 million this year -- up from $8 million in 2014.

Criminal justice Institute Spokesman Adam Baker says the institute plans to hand out that money in the form of grants to local organizations around the state.

“A grant like this, let alone an increase of such monumental proportion allows us to even better our relation with our service providers,” Baker says.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

A new ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court may complicate Indiana’s plans to eliminate bath salts. Indiana allows the Board of Pharmacy to ban new compounds for the drug on short notice to keep up with changing formulas, but the Supreme Court decision may strike that law.

The Court unanimously voted not to convict a Virginia man for dealing bath salts after ruling prosecutors must prove he knew the chemical compound he dealt and knew it was illegal to distribute them.

WLPD Increasing Patrols Following Two Robberies Last Weekend

Jun 16, 2015
Frédéric BISSON / https://www.flickr.com/photos/zigazou76/

The West Lafayette Police Department is increasing patrols in parts of the city where two armed robberies recently occurred.

The first incident happened early Saturday morning near Wabash Landing. The second occurred near midnight on Grant Street in the southern part of the Purdue campus.

Chief Jason Dombkowski the fact that they took place on consecutive evenings leads police to believe they are somehow connected.

Tippecanoe Courts To Offer Warrant Amnesty

Jun 3, 2015
Erica Gibson / WBAA News

Tippecanoe County courts are offering a clean slate to those with misdemeanor and low-level criminal cases. More than 7,000 warrants will be eligible for elimination on June 30 during the county’s Warrant Recall Day.

Most warrants and writs issued from Superior Courts 4, 5, and 6 will be eligible for the one-day-only program, as well as civil writs from Superior Court 3.  Warrants issued for failures to appear for initial hearings, guilty pleas, and case management can all be cleared, but cases regarding probation and community corrections violations will not be recalled.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Attorney General Greg Zoeller is launching a new division within his office aimed at boosting services for victims of violent and sexual crimes. 

Indiana’s hundreds of victim advocates currently operate separately across the state in shelters, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors’ offices and hospitals. 

The Attorney General’s new Victim Services and Outreach Division will launch the Victim Advocates’ Network to coordinate information and training.  Zoeller says the network will link up various advocacy efforts.

Steve Baker / https://www.flickr.com/photos/littlebiglens/8989916145/

The City of Indianapolis has taken precautions when it comes to police accountability and avoiding situations like the current one in Baltimore. That‘s according to Public Safety Director Troy Riggs.

Riggs says his department is spending roughly $200,000 modernizing its police review process. He says concerns IMPD officers and citizens alike believed the complaint and review process was antiquated, ineffective and too slow.

Joe Hren / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana University’s Alumni Hall overflowed with somber students Saturday afternoon for a vigil in memory of IU student Hannah Wilson.

The 22-year-old was reported missing Friday afternoon. Her body was found in neighboring Brown County late Friday night.

In Noblesville, not far from Wilson’s hometown of Fishers, dozens also gathered early Saturday evening. After a song and a prayer, friends and family, including members of Wilson’s former cheerleading squad and Wilson’s sister, Haley, released balloons.

Virtual Real Estate Scam Leads To Arrest

Apr 14, 2015
Achamo Paine / https://www.flickr.com/photos/achamo/

A first-of-its kind case that was filed with the Secretary of State’s office has led to the arrest of a Pennsylvania man on allegations he was running a virtual land scam.

Josh Bills is accused of scamming a Morgan County woman out of more than 50-thousand dollars in the online game "Second Life," a virtual world where users use real money to purchase, land, goods, and other items.

courtesy Marion County Government

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry has added himself to the list of people who do not support the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA.

Curry says he opposes the bill because it lacks modifications that would prevent someone from using it as defense in a criminal prosecution.

In a letter sent to Indiana media outlets he says that such cases have not been uncommon in other jurisdictions with similar legislation.

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