Convicted drug dealers could get tougher sentences in Indiana under proposal


By: Associated Press

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A proposal to mandate tougher sentences for some convicted drug dealers is set for consideration by an Indiana Senate committee.

The proposal that was approved by the Indiana House last month comes two years after the Legislature approved a sweeping overhaul of the state’s criminal sentencing laws.

The Senate criminal law committee is scheduled to hear testimony Tuesday on the bill, which would require judges to impose prison sentences of at least 10 years for those dealing more than 10 grams of illegal drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine.

Bill sponsor Rep. Greg Steuerwald, a Republican from Avon, says the changes are needed to keep dangerous drug dealers off Indiana’s streets.

Opponents say the changes shouldn’t be made so soon after a five-year review to determine appropriate criminal sentences.