Goshen News, Goshen, IN


August 18, 2013

Murder charge is appropriate for home invasion death

Indiana legislators often tweak laws pertaining to criminality in the state. During their last session in the Statehouse they passed a law that will erase some non-violent offenses from an offender’s record if they stay out of trouble for years. We think that is a good idea, because at some point the offender has paid enough for their misdeeds and deserves a chance to make a better life. Having to report that crime on every job application reduces the opportunities for former offenders to move on and better themselves.

Our state, in this instance, was improved by lessening the social stigma of past misdeeds for those who have gone “straight.” But there are very few instances when our state’s criminal code can be improved by lessening the penalty for a crime. The section of the code we are specifically talking about is IC 35-42-1-1. That’s the bureaucratic number given to the offense of murder in Indiana.

IC 35-42-1-1 will be in play in Elkhart Circuit Court Monday when three teenage men go on trial for murder. They were arrested and charged after four men broke into a home in Elkhart. A fifth teen allegedly served as a lookout. The homeowner responded to the intrusion by firing five shots from a handgun, killing Danzele Johnson of Goshen and wounding one of the suspects.

One of the defendants has already entered a plea and was sentenced. We have no idea if these remaining three men are guilty or not. The facts of the case are not yet before the public. A jury will hear versions of the crime from county prosecutors and defense attorneys will counter the accusations. Then a jury will have to decide the fates of the defendants.

But the defendants’ families are worried about losing them to the criminal justice system for a long time. Earlier this month, those families held a prayer rally in Elkhart. Those attending believe that the felony murder law in Indiana is too harsh, that the teens should have never been charged with murder, just burglary, and the law for felony murder should be dropped from Indiana code. We disagree.

In Indiana, if someone dies during the commission of a felony, including burglary, those suspected of originating the crime can be charged with murder. This charging option is sound law and sound philosophy. Without the originating criminal activity, the deceased person would not have died. Therefore, the death becomes a homicide, which by definition is an unnatural death caused by the actions of another human being.

Text Only
  • MORTON MARCUS: The nation’s higher education funding mess cannot continue Public higher education financing is unsustainable as currently configured. This conclusion was reached by two important groups over the past two years. The National Association of State Budget Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Office

    July 30, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous. A co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Hamilton and fell

    July 28, 2014

  • GN140725 fair faces flowers 2 OUR VIEW: Another great fair is in the books Here at The Goshen News there are always mixed feelings when the Elkhart County 4-H Fair concludes for the year. On one hand, we’re as exhausted as anybody. This year’s nine-day event kicked off on July 18 and ran seemingly non-stop until the Mad Bom

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Full STEAM ahead for Fairfield Fairfield Community School students and parents are enjoying their summer holiday and the Elkhart County 4-H Fair this week, but looking ahead to the coming school year, there are big decisions to be made that will impact their lives.The school board

    July 26, 2014

  • MORTON MARCUS: Tax simplification in Indiana no simple matter The Governor and his select invitees to his closed tax conference last month praised simplifying Indiana’s tax code. It is an idea better loved by Americans than baseball, apple, pie or motherhood.There is no question that our national and state tax

    July 23, 2014

  • Rep. Kubacki still on a mission INDIANAPOLIS State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants

    July 21, 2014

  • Setting up the'LeBron Bayh' comeback saga INDIANAPOLIS — This could be the saga of “LeBron Bayh.”Like a thunderhead brewing in the distance, you could see this one coming. This was the progression: former state Democratic Dan Parker announces he will not become a candidate for mayor of India

    July 20, 2014

  • Maybe parks need to be watched 24/7 It was disturbing news last week when Goshen park officials found Rogers Park had suffered $5,000 in damage at the hand of vandals. Since vandalism is an ongoing problem in the city’s parks, we think it is time to elevate the conversation about findi

    July 20, 2014

  • Community gets behind try-athlon Saturday was another great day in Goshen. The 10th annual Kids’ Try-athlon came off with a bang. It is one of the signature events of the Goshen Parks and Recreation program, and appears to get bigger and better each year. This year, 360 kids from ag

    July 17, 2014

  • Let's go 'all-in' for 4-H fair's food drive Elkhart County is “all-in” for the upcoming food drive record attempt at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.Fair organizers want the food drive to set a new Guinness Book of World Records mark for the most pounds of food collected during a one-day food driv

    July 16, 2014


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results