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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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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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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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Coalition announces legislative agenda aimed at public fraud

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – A group of officials representing local, state and federal governments will push a series of legislative proposals meant to protect public funds and speed the recovery of taxpayers dollars lost to fraud. The Public Integrity Coalition announced a 2015 agenda on Friday that includes additional whistleblower protections for public […]

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Alcohol police crack down on violations around college campuses

By Hannah Troyer TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – State excise police have been cracking down on underage drinking around college campuses across the state – and the strategy is working, if arrests are a measure. The excise police – which enforce the state’s alcohol and tobacco laws – have logged 801 arrests or tickets related to college […]

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Pence administration earmarks $344,000 more for domestic violence

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Forty-three domestic violence programs across Indiana will be eligible to receive $344,000 in additional funding under a plan the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute announced Monday. The money will come on top of $2.55 million the ICJI board has approved for the groups so far this fiscal year and another […]

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Domestic violence shelters get money, more could be on the way

By Lesley Weidenbener TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – A state criminal justice board approved $1.9 million in state grants for domestic violence programs across Indiana on Friday – but left another $1.1 million unspent for now as demands for services spike. The grants mean that 42 organizations will receive the same amount of state money as they […]

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Domestic violence groups say Pence administration plans to cut funding

By Hannah Troyer TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence’s administration and the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence are at odds over funding for prevention and shelters. The nonprofit group claims the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute – with Pence’s approval – is proposing to cut $1.25 million from domestic violence programs. But representatives of the governor and […]

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