Proposal to toughen minimum sentences for drug dealers in Indiana gets some opposition


By: Aric Chokey/Associated Press

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Opponents of a bill to mandate tougher sentences for some convicted drug dealers say it’s too early to change Indiana’s criminal code since a major overhaul took effect only two years ago.

The Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee heard arguments on the House bill Tuesday.

The bill would reinforce a minimum 10-year sentence for dealers of methamphetamine, cocaine, and other controlled substances that receive a Level 2 felony. Current law allows them to leave prison before completing 10 years with good behavior.

The Indiana Bar Association and other lawyer groups who say it’s too early to revise the criminal code again say judges should retain sentencing discretion in a trial.

The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council argues the bill would keep drug dealers off the streets longer.