Monica Foster, head of the Indiana Federal Community Defenders and Paul Gingerich’s attorney, hailed the new law as a breakthrough for juvenile justice in Indiana.
“There’s no point in making throwaway children,” Foster said. “When we send children into adult prisons, they're just schooled by adult criminals on how to become better criminals.”
Whether the new law could apply to Gingerich remains to be seen. Last December, the Indiana Court of Appeals threw out the boy's guilty plea and sentence, saying the juvenile court judge rushed when he waived the case to adult court.
The appellate court ordered a new hearing, scheduled for August, to determine if Gingerich should be retried in a juvenile court.
Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at email@example.com