Law and Criminal Justice

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.

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.

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