STATEHOUSE - State lawmakers will this week begin a formal review of the recent controversial Indiana Supreme Court ruling on illegal police entries, according to State Sen. Brent Steele (R-Bedford).
Steele, chair of the Legislative Council Subcommittee on Barnes v. State, said the panel's first meeting will take place at 1 p.m. Wednesday in Room 431 of the Statehouse.
Subcommittee members include Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) and Reps. Eric Turner (R-Marion) and Linda Lawson (D-Hammond).
"Taking away the constitutional right Indiana residents have to resist questionable police entry into their homes is undoubtedly a shocking decision," Steele said. "Though I am hopeful our state's Supreme Court justices will reconsider the opinion and narrow their ruling, many questions have already been raised. Lawmakers now need to discuss ways to clarify self-defense and search-and-seizure laws in the 2012 legislative session."
In May, Indiana's Supreme Court ruled on a Vanderburgh County case in which a man questioned about a domestic violence call scuffled with a police officer who tried to enter his house without a warrant and against his will. The high court contended that "allowing (citizen) resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest."
Since that time, Senate Majority Caucus members including President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne), Sens. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette), Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso), Johnny Nugent (R-Lawrenceburg), Jim Tomes (R-Wadesville), Mike Young (R-Indianapolis) and Steele have each announced plans to protect Hoosiers' Fourth Amendment right. In June, these senators and 64 other legislators filed a joint brief encouraging the justices to reconsider their ruling.
"As there has been no reconsideration announced by the court, lawmakers will discuss possible resolutions," Steele said. "While the public is invited to attend, public testimony will be taken at a later date."
To watch proceedings live online, visit http://www.in.gov/legislative/2441.htm.
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