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Indiana Prosecutors Want Tougher Penalties For Drug Dealers

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Photo: Michael Coghlan

The group of prosecutors is hopeful legislators will take the issue up next year.

A group of Indiana prosecutors says it wants the legislature to increase penalties for drug dealers. The Association of Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys says holding people accountable is an important aspect of fighting the opioid epidemic.

A law went into effect last year that means people convicted of multiple drug dealing felonies can’t get suspended sentences. But Hendricks County Prosecutor Patricia Baldwin says that’s not enough. She says drug dealers need to be put away for an amount of time that will make a difference in the availability of drugs.

“We’re talking about sentences that went from 30 years down to one to six, with an advisory of only three years,” Baldwin says. “So, therefore, they’re next to nothing.”

Baldwin says treatment is another important part of the equation, but people supplying drugs need to face consequences.

“Drug addiction is terrible, but it’s also criminal,” she says.

She’s hopeful legislators will discuss the issue during next year’s legislative session.

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  • lastcamp2

    If tougher penalties really worked, the War on Drugs would have been over long ago. Instead, it rages on, despite its spectacular failure. And despite that failure, the response of our government is to simply do more of the same.
    Prohibition and vindictive justice don’t work. We learned that in the 20s and 30s with the rise and fall of prohibition of alcohol. Somehow that bitter lesson has never been relearned.

  • S. Clemens

    I agree. I also note that the prosecutors are asking for increasing penalties for “drugs,” not just opioids. That would mean they can still lock people up for pot if they have an amount they can argue is large enough to indicate an intent to sell or deliver.
    Of course, I can’t help but note the primary reason for the prosecutors’ request: They’re all up for election next year.

  • TP

    It’s cute that she believes the availability of drugs can be affected by longer sentences for the apprehended dealers. If one 7-11 store closes, for a week or forever, does that affect the availability of Slushies?

  • http://www.donharrishomeimprovement.com donnie harold harris

    I want tougher penalties on Finance crimes of Bankers.

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