Criminal Justice

Jim Nix / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimnix/5039079018

Legislation doubling state funding for domestic violence prevention cleared its first hurdle Wednesday. 

Proposed legislation would provide $5 million a year in the next two-year state budget for domestic violence prevention and treatment programs. 

After a change in committee, the bill would also provide one million a year to help sexual assault victims. 

Rep. Woody Burton (R-Whiteland) provided emotional testimony in committee about his own experience with domestic violence – his father threatened and abused his mother when Burton was a small child. 

File photo

The Indiana Supreme Court technology team, led by Justice Steven David and Court of Appeals judge Paul Mathias, has already begun negotiations to purchase the software needed to bring e-filing to all 92 Indiana counties. 

Mathias notes that the federal courts have already moved to e-filing, which he calls a new basic responsibility of government.

“The clerks’ shelf space at the state and local level, the postage, the copying, the collating, a person’s time all along the way -- e-filing will do away with,” Mathias says.

Jim Nix / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimnix/5039079018

Under current law, the statute of limitations to prosecute for rape is five years.  Jenny Ewing, a former Indiana resident, says she was raped in 2005 but, in her words, “made the mistake” of not reporting it. 

Her attacker recently confessed to police…but because the five-year statute of limitations had expired, authorities were unable to prosecute him. 

Sen. Michael Crider’s (R-Indianapolis) legislation would expand the statute of limitations in two circumstances – if DNA evidence were discovered tying a rapist to the crime or if the person confesses to the crime. 

State of Indiana

Former Secretary of State Charlie White is still not eligible to run for state office after a ruling from the state Court of Appeals.

In a unanimous ruling, a three judge panel of the appeals court upheld three of White‘s six felony convictions that led to his ouster as Secretary of State in February 2012 and left in place his sentence of one year of home detention - the sentence had been delayed pending his appeal.

Scott Wagner / https://www.flickr.com/photos/lonewolfhdr/5694061342

Monroe County officials are beginning work on a program they hope will reduce the number of people in the county’s jail and keep offenders from missing court appointments.

Using a $40,000 grant from the Indiana Supreme Court, the Monroe County probation department will start what’s called a pretrial release program.

It consists of a probation officer meeting with low-level offenders, screening them, then recommending whether they should be released to home detention or another community corrections program instead of being kept in jail while they wait for a trial.

Increased Body Camera Use By Police Leads To Questions

Dec 18, 2014
Barbara Harrington / Indiana Public Broadcasting

When Bloomington police officer Matt Gilmore gets into his squad car, he has an extra set of eyes.

The Bloomington Police Department purchased 30 body cameras last year as part of  a trial program.

The officers wear the cameras  on their chests and flip them on  during interactions with the public, giving an up-close perspective of what’s happening.

State of Indiana

An attorney for former Secretary of State Charlie White says Indiana law was misapplied when White was convicted in 2012 of six criminal counts stemming from voter fraud.

White’s appeal included several arguments – the jury wasn’t properly instructed, selective prosecution, his attorney at the time – Carl Brizzi – was ineffective. 

But when pressed by the Appeals Court judges for the strongest argument, White’s current attorney Andrea Ciobanu says it’s misapplication of the law. 

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

3:45 p.m. UPDATE:

Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington just called to say he's spoken to Andrew Boldt's family, but he declined to offer any specifics about the conversation. Boldt's family has been quiet since the sentencing -- they didn't talk to the media after Cody Cousins' trial was over and only gave Harrington a short statement to read to the media that afternoon. On his reaction to Cousins' suicide, Harrington says:

“I was thankful that this only involved him making a decision about his own life.”

EARLIER:

Larry Farr/morguefile

Some major money is flowing into the Indiana Department of Correction to address brain trauma. The department has been awarded a $1 million federal grant to screen and provide treatment for released offenders who have traumatic brain injuries. Edinburgh Correctional Facility Superintendent Frances Osburn is leading the project and says their goal is to minimize the risk of re-offending and ultimately help lower the state's incarceration costs.

WLPD To Start Wearing Body Cameras

Sep 25, 2014
VIEVU / http://www.vievu.com/

By the end of this week, every officer in the West Lafayette Police Department will be wearing a body camera.

Chief Jason Dombkowski says it’s a project that’s been in the works for about a year.

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