Monday, September 12, 2011

New Ohio juvenile laws

Ohio’s recently-passed House Bill 86, signed by Gov. Kasich last June and going into effect end of this month, touched on elements of the state’s sentencing laws, penalties for drug offenses, prison, parole, and halfway house issues.

It also contains a number of juvenile justice provisions including:

· Competency of an alleged delinquent child and procedures for minors found incompetent under that mechanism including as parts a provision that specifies that if the minor is the subject of any such proceeding is 14 or older, is not otherwise found mentally ill, intellectually disabled, or developmentally disabled, it is rebuttably presumed for purposes of the competency determination that the child does not have a lack of mental capacity [ R.C. 2152.51 to 2152.59 ]

· Mandatory bindover provisions & sanction determinations of alleged delinquent child respective of minors convicted of a crime in criminal court after their case is transferred from juvenile under a if the child is alleged to be a delinquent child for committing an act that would be aggravated murder, murder, attempted aggravated murder, or attempted murder if committed by an adult, or if said minor is alleged to have had a firearm while committing the act….. [ ORC § 2151.23,2152.02, 2152.021, 2152.12, 2152.121, 2152.13, and 2152.14 ]

· Possible commitment to DYS for complicity in firearm specification conduct [ §2152.17(B)(1) and 2152.17(B)(2))]

· Judicial release to DYS or court supervision [ § 2152.22, 5139.01, 5139.06, 5139.18, and 5139.52 ]

· Emergency release of a delinquent child committed to DYS [ § R.C. 5139.20(D)]

“Lawyers, judges and clinicians currently use the same standards with minors as they do when considering the competency of adults, which ‘doesn't always work very well because of the differences between the nature of kids and adults,’ Jill Beeler, chief juvenile counsel in the Ohio public defender's office,” reported in a USAToday article this morning. “ ‘Juvenile norms’ are supposed to be applied, though nothing in the law spelled out what those norms were…. the new state law taking effect Sept.30 provides psychologists and psychiatrists with four sets of characteristics to signal whether a juvenile is competent, The Columbus Dispatch added.

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