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Gore requests study committee to explore optimizing homicide sentencing

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Earlier this month, Elliahs Dorsey was sentenced to time served on the charge related to the killing of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Breann Leath in April 2020.

In response, State Rep. Mitch Gore (D-Indianapolis), along with his colleague State Rep. Victoria Garcia Wilburn (D-Fishers), asked General Assembly leadership to assign the topic of increasing the crime of reckless homicide to a Level 3 felony to an interim study committee this year. Currently, reckless homicide is a Level 5 felony, carrying a sentence of one to six years. Level 3 felonies carry a broader sentencing range of three to 16 years in prison.

Gore, the only presently-serving law enforcement officer in the Indiana General Assembly, issued the following statement on the request:

“While I was disappointed that Dorsey did not receive the maximum sentence for the killing of Officer Leath, I also recognize that the legislature failed to provide the judge with a reasonable maximum sentence when it made reckless homicide a Level 5 felony. Taking the life of another person, even recklessly, deserves more justice than a minimum of one year.

“I gave my word to the Leath family that I was exploring all legislative options to make this right. Keeping that promise begins by requesting an interim study committee to look into elevating reckless homicide from a Level 5 felony to a Level 3 felony.

“When the legislature was reforming the criminal code over a decade ago, I believe there was an oversight when reckless homicide was put near the bottom of the tiered system. Elevating reckless homicide to a Level 3 felony with a sentence of three to 16 years gives judges far more discretion to take specific scenarios into account.

“I call on my fellow lawmakers in the General Assembly, specifically leadership, to grant the study committee request I made alongside State Rep. Victoria Garcia Wilburn, the wife of a former IMPD officer. This study committee is the first step to ensuring justice for victims of reckless homicide in Bre’s name.”

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