A step toward justice
Regardless of one’s opinion about how severely a teen convicted of a murder committed when he was 12 years old should be sentenced, everyone should want justice. Indiana’s judicial system took another step in that direction when a special judge was appointed to determine whether Paul Gingerich of Warsaw should be tried in juvenile or adult court.
The original decision to move Gingerich to adult court was improperly made because his original hearing was held with little notice – four business days, as opposed to weeks or months in other counties. The hearing was woefully incomplete and included key testimony that proved to be incorrect. Kosciusko County Judge Duane Huffer did not serve justice.
The Indiana Court of Appeals rightly ruled Gingerich was improperly waived to adult court, and the state Supreme Court upheld that ruling. Now, a judge from a different county will hear the case.
The case is now in the hands of Whitley County Circuit Judge James Heuer, who handles both juvenile and adult cases.
Appointment of a different judge should go far to help ensure that Gingerich gets the fair hearing he was denied in 2010.