"There is some change needed," said Elkhart County Superior Court 5 Judge Charles Wicks, "especially in the theft statute."
Judge Wicks, who is on the policy committee of the state judges' association, said he worked with legislators in the last session, but the Right-to-Work legislation got in the way of judicial reforms this year.
"I haven't seen the proposal," he
said, "but I assume it will be similar to last year's."
explained that there are some jurisdictions.
pointed out that the current theft statute calls for the offense to be a Class D felony if the loss is up to $100,000.
If the offense involves a loss of more than $100,000, the charge may be a Class C felony,.
"I thought it was a good idea to change the theft statute," Wicks
"We handle a lot of shoplifting.
It is amazing the small dollar amounts.
But it may cost the offender several hundred dollars in court costs and penalties."
Another problem with the proposed legislation last year was the mandate for the use of community corrections for all Class D felony cases, Wicks
When the work release center was built on Cottage Avenue in Goshen, the zoning agreement called for not housing sex offenders and violent offenders at the center.
That agreement might prohibit a judge from sentencing a person to work release in a domestic battery case, which may be a Class D felony.
"The court should have some discretion," Wicks