Vauhxx Booker Case Solved Through Restorative Justice, A First In Indiana Criminal Cases – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather forecast


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — For the first time in Indiana’s criminal case history, a criminal case has been resolved through restorative justice, a process similar to mediation.

Vauhxx Booker originally claimed he was the victim of a hate crime in July 2020. Now all charges against all parties to the case have been dropped, I-Team 8 found.

“It’s sort of a grown-up way to handle a case and get it out of the court system,” said Lance Hamner, the judge handling Booker’s case.

Hamner says that as a judge, this was the first time he had seen a criminal case resolved through restorative justice.

In August 2021, a special prosecutor filed criminal charges against Reservationan African-American man from Bloomington who says he was the victim of a hate crime on July 4, 2020.

Booker claims a group of people threatened him at Lake Monroe near Bloomington. Booker was charged with assault and trespass. Sean Purdy and Jerry Cox have previously been charged with assaulting Booker. They claimed he was behind the incident.

Hamner said the lawyers “explained to me that this is kind of a new and innovative way of solving cases that achieves all the goals of the criminal justice system, but it doesn’t have to be to go through the whole legal process”.

Booker initially refused to enter the restorative justice process, but court records show he had recently decided to re-enter the process.

“When people start to get angry, their reasoning starts to break down. That’s the source of a lot of conflict. Once everything has had a chance to calm down and people have had a chance to thinking, reasoning starts to come back up, and that’s when your restorative justice can kick in, because then people can start thinking with their minds rather than their emotions,” Hamner said.

the Community Justice Center facilitated restorative justice in Booker’s case. They provided a statement to I-Team 8 explaining the process.

“CCJ staff and volunteers facilitate restorative processes that bring victims and offenders together to talk about the impact of the crime and create a plan to address the harm…This work helps people get answers to lingering questions, to find closure, to offer and receive acknowledgment and apologies, to mend broken relationships and to overcome obstacles that prevent them from living their lives to the fullest.

Community Justice Center

Hamner says this process is something that saves a lot of expense and resources in the court system. “I was really impressed and actually that’s something I want to look into. I’m running for prosecutor and if I win, that’s something I want to look into even more.

I-Team reached out to Booker to comment on the case and ask him why he decided to re-enter the restorative justice process. Booker declined an interview, saying he wanted to wait until he had something “more substantial to provide.”




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