INDIANAPOLIS— Today, the Indiana Senate passed SJR 1 despite bipartisan opposition. State Senator Rodney Pol Jr. (D-Chesterton) serves as Ranking Minority Member on the Corrections and Criminal Code Committee and offered the following statement:

“Public safety is rightly a priority for the Senate. That’s why my second reading amendment would have improved SJR 1 by ensuring that judges withhold bail only for those who commit serious violent crimes, which is the Republicans’ stated goal of SJR 1. I believe Hoosiers deserve to know on what grounds they could be deprived of their liberty without first being found guilty by a jury of their peers: by refusing to enumerate non-bailable offenses, SJR 1 fails to provide that clarity.”

“We can achieve the goal of improved public safety without creating a vague ‘substantial risk to the public’ standard that could lead to arbitrary denial of bail even to nonviolent, low-level offenders which would put their job, family, livelihood and right to competent counsel at risk. This is an incredibly dangerous conflict with specific guardrails set by the framers of the Indiana Constitution.”