February 23, 2021

Senate Narrowly OKs Bill Overriding Local Prosecutors

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Sen. Mike Young said there are examples from across the country where prosecutors announced they categorically won't charge people for certain crimes. - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Sen. Mike Young said there are examples from across the country where prosecutors announced they categorically won't charge people for certain crimes.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The Indiana attorney general and special prosecutors would be empowered to take over cases that local prosecutors won’t charge under legislation narrowly approved by the Senate Tuesday.

The measure would allow the attorney general to get a special prosecutor appointed if local prosecutors say they categorically won’t charge people for certain crimes. The local county would then be charged for that special prosecutor.

Sen. Mike Young (R-Indianapolis) said there are examples across the country where prosecutors announced such policies. He said his bill aims to prevent that from happening in Indiana.

READ MORE: How Do I Follow Indiana's Legislative Session? Here's Your Guide To Demystify The Process

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on COVID-19 and other statewide issues.

But Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) said Young is just upset that the Marion County prosecutor won’t charge people for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

“If you want to be a prosecutor, run for prosecutor,” Taylor said.

Young said prosecutors can’t just decide which laws they want to prosecute.

“You want prosecutors to have these type of policies and there is no repercussions to them at all,” Young said.

All Indiana prosecutors have to stand for election every four years.

The bill now goes to the House after a 29-20 vote in the Senate.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Support independent journalism today. You rely on WFYI to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Donate to power our nonprofit reporting today. Give now.

 

 

Related News

Weekly Statehouse Update: Session Reaches Halfway Point, House GOP Approves Budget
Indiana Senate Democrats Lament Missed Opportunities In Session's First Half
Senate Passes Bill To Change IndyGo Funding Requirements