Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Opinion

October 2, 2012

Hayden: Indiana criminal code debate will be worth watching

Commission looks at legislation that would affect ‘most people'

At a recent meeting of the state’s Criminal Code Evaluation Commis-sion, one of the members described a Class D felony as the kind of crime most people have committed but just hadn’t been caught for it.

It was an eyebrow-raising moment, considering he included in his “most people” category the members of the commission — people who represent the state’s prosecutors, public defenders, judges, probation officers, prison officials, and the General Assembly.

In a flight of imagination, I scanned the panel of members sitting there and began wondering about their secret criminal history.

In Indiana, a Class D felony is the lowest level of serious crime; it can land you in prison for six months to three years. Here some examples of Class D felony crimes: burglary, battery, cheating at gambling, cruelty to animals, cultivating marijuana, domestic battery, fraud, impersonating a public servant, moving a body from the scene of a death, obstruction of justice, perjury, possession of a sawed-off shotgun, prostitution, and public indecency.

The list goes on and on, but here’s just a few more: criminal deviate conduct, dispensing of material harmful to minors, disposing of a dead animal, driving while intoxicated, exploiting an endangered adult, failure to warn of a communicable disease, illegal possession of a vehicle identification number, invasion of privacy, stalking, strangulation, prescription fraud, and tampering with an odometer.

There are some drug possession crimes on the list, too, including possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana, about 1 ounce.

My flight of imagination didn’t last long. The commission member’s statement was meant to emphasize a point (I think) about proportionate punishment, rather than to implicate his colleagues.

The commission was created in 2009 to take a deep look at the state’s criminal code — which lays out the standards for crime and punishment in Indiana — and figure out what needs to be kept and what can be tossed. Since it was last revised in 1977, the General Assembly has been adding to it and altering it — often, as legislators themselves say, without considering the escalating costs of locking up more offenders or making sure there were like penalties for like crimes.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • State aims at outbreaks More than 200 Western School Corp. students were vaccinated for chickenpox after an outbreak in March 2012.The virus was confirmed to have infected five fifth-graders, the Howard County Health Department reported. It acted quickly to prevent the infe

    July 22, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 22, 2014

  • LETTERS: Trust chemical, seed firms and the FDA? Trust chemical, seed firms and the FDA?Let’s see ... Mr. Don Villwock, Indiana Farm Bureau president, wants the FDA to define what genetically engineered foods are, and then he wants it to be optional or voluntary for food companies to tell consumers

    July 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Indiana Democrats deal with divide on education On the face of it, the battles between Democratic Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and supporters and staff of Republican Gov. Mike Pence have been a unifying force for Indiana Democrats. But the scrapping has exposed a deep rift within the party o

    July 22, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Is Evan Bayh contemplating another gubernatorial run? This could be the saga of “LeBron Bayh.”Like a thunderhead brewing in the distance, you could see this one coming. This was the progression: former state Democratic Chairman Dan Parker announces he will not become a candidate for mayor of Indianapoli

    July 21, 2014

  • LETTERS: Show support where you spend money Show support where you spend moneyReinvest in your community. It is something you hear often, but what does it mean and how do you effectively do it?Thankfully, there are people in our community who can give six-figure donations to projects like the

    July 21, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Please go away already My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven't caught up. I don't have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m

    July 21, 2014

  • WEEKLY WRAP: All of Indy must step forward All of Indy must step forwardIt has been a brutal week, one filled with violence, suffering, mourning and reflection.The brutality began on the night of July 4, when two women were shot and wounded on the Eastside. Police found 30 bullet casings in t

    July 21, 2014

  • Testament to our youth We hear complaints — all the time — from campaigning politicians, TV pundits and lobbyists peddling “family values.” The federal government, they say, has “taken God out of our schools.”God never left. Not here. Kokomo City Hall, the United Way of Ho

    July 20, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Internet, and future of communication One morning, I was chatting with some retired folks and the subject of paying bills on the Internet came up. One woman said she disposed of her computer years ago and pays her bills by mail. I commented she could get by just fine doing that. The othe

    July 20, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll