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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

This Week

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Excerpts from Evening Forum editorials

Saturday, June 10, 2017 12:01 am

In a corner on death penalty

Indiana officials probably don't want to have a big debate about the death penalty, but they more or less have to. The issue has been hijacked by capital punishment opponents, who have pushed the state into a corner by challenging the lethal cocktail used to carry out state-sanctioned executions. If the state can't talk its way out of the corner, it might have to go back to “less humane” methods of execution.

Most death penalty states have a similar dilemma. Influenced by anti-capital punishment activists, major drug companies have stopped making their lethal products available to states using them for capital punishment, so states have been scrambling to find alternatives.


Let's have no legal pot here

So far, 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized pot for either recreational or medicinal use. The trend is clear.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill is urging Indiana to buck that trend because of marijuana's threats to “health, safety, education and employment — especially among those who start young.” He has some good arguments and some weak ones.

He is right, for example, that marijuana supporters tend to focus on casual indulgence, ignoring the effects of heavy and long-term use, and that the harmful effects of alcohol and tobacco in no way justify legalizing another harmful substance. He is also right that the medical marijuana argument is shaky.


The complete urban experience

So, you've had the fine-dining experience. You've had nights out for the symphony, the ballet, perhaps a play. You've done your gourmet grocery shopping and hit all the malls. Still, something seems to be missing, and you finally realize what it is.

You cannot possibly say you have had the complete urban experience until you get that one little thing more: chickens in the backyard.

Not to worry. City Councilman Jason Arp, R-4th, has you covered. He has proposed an ordinance that would allow homeowners to keep up to five female chickens in an enclosed coop. “Why not allow people to use their property as they see fit if they're not causing harm?” Arp asks.


No more trying to be No. 1

Is this still a country in which people can strive to be the very best at something? Of course it is, but they aren't encouraged to do it as much as they once were, and even if they achieve it, they might not be recognized for it.

A growing number of high schools in Indiana, including several around Indianapolis and Southwest Allen County Schools here in the northeastern part of the state, have joined the nationwide trend of not naming valedictorians and salutatorians to honor a class's No. 1 and No. 2 students.

Instead, they're using the collegiate system of honoring students as cum laude (top 25 percent), magna cum laude (top 10 percent) and summa cum laude (top 3 percent).


Hard for police to use drones

At least 10 Indiana police departments already have their own drones, and even more are considering obtaining them. The flying machines have the potential to be incredible crime-fighting tools.

The only problem is that it is difficult for police to use drones legally in this state. In fact, civilians would probably have an easier time staying within the law while using them.

The Indianapolis Police Department, as one example, wants drones for crowd surveillance at major gatherings downtown, reports The Indianapolis Star. And the Indiana State Police wants them to monitor traffic at events such as the state fair.

But both of those uses would be against the law in Indiana.



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