Pharos-Tribune

Editorials

January 10, 2014

THEIR VIEW: Stiffer penalties for abhorrent crimes

The term “home invasion” is especially distasteful because of the heinous crimes it can entail.

One’s home is supposed to be safe, secure and protective — a refuge from the often mean world around us.

A home invasion changes that balance, corrupts that safety zone, violates that privacy, destroys that trust.

Home invasion can — and often does — involve violence, sexual attack, robbery and intimidation. It can end in terrible injury, death, rape, inhumanity and other deviate conduct. Its victims are never the same again.

Such home invasions have happened sporadically in the Wabash Valley, and they have been occurring disturbingly frequently in our Capital City and its suburbs. Most recently, a mother and her daughter were beaten to death in their home in Westfield, just north of Indianapolis near Carmel. Not long before that, another mother and her daughter were beaten, robbed and sexually assaulted in one of Indianapolis’ better neighborhoods.

In both cases, men suspected of having committed those egregious crimes have been apprehended and charged. The popular sentiment is that, if found guilty, those men should be severely punished for the pain, suffering and inhumane indignity they perpetrated on their victims.

Among the hundreds of proposed laws that will be introduced in the 2014 Indiana General Assembly is a bill that would significantly increase the penalty when firearms are used to commit violent crimes.

The premise is that when criminals resort to firearms in committing any crime, they deserve more punishment.

The proponent is State Sen. Jim Merritt, a Republican from Indianapolis with more than 20 years in the state Senate, who is reflecting his constituents’ fears about home invasions — fears, he has said, that lead some to answer a knock at the door with a locked-and-loaded firearm, as is a homeowner’s right.

Under current law, Indiana courts can add five years to a sentence for someone who used a firearm while committing a crime.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • THEIR VIEW: Careful look at tax structure needed Indiana legislators this year created a "blue-ribbon commission" to study the state's taxes on businesses this summer. We hope the commission will listen to Larry DeBoer, a Purdue professor who might understand Indiana's tax structure better than any

    April 20, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Littering shows disregard for surroundings Numbers tell a sad story about the disregard many Hoosiers have for their surroundings. Too many in Indiana don't care enough about the environment to prevent them from cluttering the countryside by carelessly tossing litter along the side of roadway

    April 18, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Lawmakers fail to act on the issue After several years of fretting over Indiana's ongoing methamphetamine problem, the Indiana General Assembly continues to struggle for a solution. The issue seems to come up every session, given that Indiana leader the nation in meth lab seizures. Bu

    April 17, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Constitutional convention won't work today There seems to be a growing idea that we need a Constitutional convention. That, of course, is the other way to change the Constitution. Amendments have been used 27 times to make changes, ranging from limiting the president's term of office to the d

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Health care fraud can't go unchecked National health care spending tops $2.7 trillion annually. That leaves a lot of room, and temptation, for abuse of a bureaucracy that administers medical services. Medicare and Medicaid scams may cost taxpayers more than $98 billion each year. Health

    April 15, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Lessons from 2nd Fort Hood The shooting at Fort Hood last week has stirred up more debates about guns and mental health but adding little more than some oratorical dust. Consider these elements: • Army Spec. Ivan Lopez, who killed three and wounded 16 others before taking his

    April 10, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Fast lane for road projects Our interstate, national and state highways carry millions of people through and across Indiana each year. Those roadways form the physical connections among our communities. Not just people, but dollars. One state legislator says "half a trillion do

    April 9, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Doubts about Common Core doubts It wasn't the most solid week in the movement to swap out the school standards known as Common Core State Standards for a homegrown set of measures in Indiana. Sure, the General Assembly was able to get a bill to Gov. Mike Pence last month to scrap t

    April 8, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Parents, let's talk about money There are many talks that parents need to have with their children. They talk about bullying at school and talk about drugs. And of course, there's the always-dreaded "birds and the bees" talk. But there's a talk that many parents gloss over. And it'

    April 6, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Sporadic bouts of snow, rain and sun have kept most of us indoors the past few weeks. Now, weather forecasters tell us of better, warmer days, the kind where we can roll down the car windows, open the sunroof or hop on a motorcycle. But it's that tim

    April 4, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.