While it seems that some states are making strides to be more lenient on crime, it is still the aim of many, seemingly, to lock up as many people as possible for as long as possible. Law enforcement officials and prosecutors in Indiana are largely backing a package of anti-crime bills that would impose harsher crimes for violent offenders. All five of the bills were proposed by Republicans and passed through the Indiana Senate without any major fuss. They re now headed to the House of Representatives.
The “crime reduction package” comes on the heels of police shootings and an increase in homicides in Indianapolis, Indiana. According to the Indianapolis Business Journal:
Each bill would address specific law enforcement and criminal justice issues, including limiting record expungements for repeat offenders, increasing police funding and creating harsher sentences for violent crimes.
One of the bills calls for a 20 year addition to a sentences for violators who point a gun at or use a gun on a police officer. Data shows that firearms-related incidents were the leading cause of death among police officers. The 50 deaths in 2014 shows a 56 percent increase from 2013 when 32 officers were killed. As it stands, pointing a gun at a police officer is a Level 6 felony (the lowest level of felony in Indiana) and can be dropped down to a misdemeanor if the gun isn’t loaded.
The other bills in the package are as follows:
The package also includes a measure that would expand the offenses that qualify for sentencing enhancement and one that would prevent felons with two or more weapon-related convictions from getting crimes expunged from their record.
Sen. Brent Waltz, R-Greenwood, is backing a bill that would give the state’s three most populous counties — Marion, Lake and Allen County — $200,000 each for the next two years to increase police presence in high-crime areas. Another proposal would extend the statute of limitations in rape cases, giving prosecutors more time to file charges if there is a confession, a new suspect or new DNA.