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Letter to the Editor - Meth

Gregory J. Kenner

LaGrange County Prosecutor

 

To the Editor:

The vigorous prosecution of methamphetamine manufacturers was a pledge that the LaGrange County Prosecutor’s Office made to the citizens of LaGrange County. To that end, prosecutors need the tools to protect our communities from violent drug dealing. With ingredients purchased at a fairly low cost, dealers and manufacturers can easily cook up a drug worth many times more – a drug so highly addictive that users quickly descend into depravity marked with violence, crime and neglect, all in pursuit of their next high.

In my experience, leniency of current Indiana penalties often results in violent drug dealers being charged again and again with little or no punishment. By way of example, under current Indian law, a convicted heroin dealer could get as little as a one-year sentence (minimum on a Level 5), and all of that time could be spent on probation and not in a prison. We routinely see the same faces, coming back again and again. There is only so much that can be done with our current sentencing structure. This brings me to ask our Indiana legislators, how many times should a person be convicted of the same crime before they are held accountable and an unsuspecting public is protected from their violence?

 The Indiana legislature is in session now and many of the state’s prosecutors are asking legislators to give us tools to better protect our citizens from the violence of drug trafficking. We have asked that legislators increase penalties for repeat dealers and for dealers who sell drugs under heinous circumstances, such as in the presence of children, or in possession of a gun, or when their drug dealing results in the death of another person.

We prosecutors believe that Indiana’s drug dealing penalties for the worst offenders are too low to protect citizens. Current laws do not give prosecutors the teeth to put drug dealers in jail for a long period of time. Simply put – the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. Drug abuse is driving crime in Indiana and the ones hurt most are children.

The ripple effect of violent drug dealing is virtually endless. We are asking the Indiana legislature to give prosecutors the legal tools to protect victims and families from the scourge of drug dealing. If you agree, I ask you to please contact your legislator and ask them to stand with your prosecutor on this important issue.