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Commentary: What makes the death penalty awful

By John Krull TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – So, it seems that capital punishment is supposed to be an educational experience for the person being executed. Last month, a St. Joseph County judge ruled that convicted murderer and rapist Michael Dean Overstreet couldn’t be put to death because he has delusions and hallucinations that disconnect him from […]

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Tallian to push legalization of medical marijuana

By Jacob Rund TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – After several failed attempts to pass laws that would decriminalize marijuana, state Sen. Karen Tallian has decided to enact a different strategy. In the 2015 session, Tallian, D-Portage, plans to introduce legislation that would legalize medical marijuana in the state and establish an agency to create and oversee its […]

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State won’t appeal ruling that killer is incompetent to be executed

By Hannah Troyer TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – The state will not appeal a judge’s decision that Michael Dean Overstreet – who was convicted of the 1997 abduction, rape and murder of a Franklin College student – is incompetent to be executed. Overstreet was sentenced to death in 2000 in the death of 18-year-old Kelly Eckart. But […]

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Judge: Killer in Franklin College case is not competent to be executed

By Hannah Troyer TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – A judge ruled Thursday that Michael Dean Overstreet – convicted of murdering Franklin College student Kelly Eckart in 2000 – is incompetent and cannot be executed. St. Joseph Superior Judge Jane Woodward Miller’s decision does not change Overstreet’s conviction or his death sentence. But, the state will be unable […]

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Steele seeks death penalty option in decapitation cases

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – A state senator said Monday he’s pursuing legislation to ensure that anyone convicted of beheading a victim could be sentenced to death or life without parole. A case in Oklahoma inspired Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, to check Indiana law to see if decapitation would be an aggravating circumstance that […]

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Supreme Court: Cause of death is public record

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – County records that list a cause of death are open to the public, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. In a unanimous decision, the court said death certificates maintained by county health departments are subject to the Access to Public Records Act and are not covered by any exemptions. […]

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Study group: Legalize, regulate fenced hunting preserves

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Fenced deer hunting preserves would be legalized and regulated in Indiana if the General Assembly implements a recommendation approved Tuesday by a legislative study committee. The group’s endorsement went beyond simply legalizing the handful of preserves that already exist. Instead, the Agriculture and Natural Resources Study Committee voted 8-3 […]

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It’s official: Court orders marriage licenses issued to gay couples

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – County clerks across Indiana can begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples under a mandate the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued Tuesday morning. The move comes one day after the U.S. Supreme Court opted not to consider requests from Indiana and four other states to uphold their laws banning […]

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Zoeller to seek additional consumer protections from 2015 legislature

By Lesley Weidenener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Zoeller will ask lawmakers in 2015 to expand consumer protections for Hoosiers by requiring more transparency for home repair contractors and debt collectors. Zoeller, a Republican, said the proposals are aimed at addressing some of the most common complaints received by his office, which serves as […]

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Seven more counties to participate in juvenile detention program

By Hannah Troyer TheStatehouseFle.com INDIANAPOLIS – Seven new counties across the state will partner with the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative, which offers community-based alternative programs to the typical detention facility solution for juveniles. Allen, LaPorte, Bartholomew, Boone, Monroe, St. Joseph, and LaGrange counties will join the 12 counties that already have a partnership with the […]

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