Indiana State Police superintendent calls for sweeping criminal justice reform
I-Team 8: Indiana State Police superintendent calls for sweeping criminal justice reform
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter is calling for sweeping changes to the criminal justice system in Indiana.
His call comes a few weeks after his outrage over a Marion County judge giving Luis Leyba-Gonzalez a $1,000 cash bond and a $50,000 surety bond for his role in a high-speed crash that killed three people.
Carter used that case as an example to say the criminal justice system is broken.
“This is no one’s fault. This is no one’s fault. No one agency. No one judge. No one prosecutor. No one police agency. No one mayor. No one City-County Council,” Carter said.
During a meeting with representatives of the news media, Carter stood in front of a screen with scrolling names of murder victims to talk about changes he would like to see to the criminal justice system.
The high-speed fatal crash prompted Carter to come forward.
In September, Leyba-Gonzalez was arrested after crashing into another car going 120 mph just minutes after state police called off a high speed pursuit of the 19-year-old man.
Carter was infuriated by the judge’s bond decision.
“Judges and prosecutors alike should be perpetually accountable though objective evaluation, or at least an evaluation period where they must explain their decision making processes, especially for violent felons,” the Indiana police superintendent said.
The biggest change Carter called for was a total overhaul of the Indiana bond matrix that judges follow. The Indiana Supreme Court approved the matrix four years ago.
Carter said, “Courts should immediately review and realign the current Marion County bail matrix. The floor should be raised for all serious bodily injury and death cases. Bond is not and cannot be punitive and shouldn’t be punitive. It should be a preventative measure to do all the system can to ensure another crime is not committed when that person is out on bail.”
Asked by I-Team 8 if he had current statistics of the number of people who are arrested for committing another crime while out on bond, Carter said, “I don’t have that answer for you, but I can certainly get it for you.”
Since the fatal crash, Leyba-Gonzalez has not been charged with another crime in Indiana. His next court hearing was set for January.
While he awaits trial, Carter called on leaders across Indiana to take a long look at the current structure of the criminal justice system. He said, “Our citizens deserve better. Our citizens deserve better.”
Carter also called on state leaders to poll the people of Indiana to measure their confidence in the criminal justice system, and also to find out if they feel safe.