Friday, October 28, 2011

Ohio Sentencing HB 86 Questions & Review

At once being described as landmark legislation being the first substantive revision & updating of Ohio sentencing law in 15 years, recently enacted HB 86 has also generated its share of concern, apprehension, and confusion as well – So much so that the General Assembly and Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission are being reported as being in the process of weighing those changes even as the corrections overhaul goes into effect.

Ohio Capital Connection’s Hanna Report last Wednesday commented that "Concerns voiced by the Ohio Supreme Court, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC), trial judges, law enforcement, and other interested parties since its passage in June range from technical discrepancies with major repercussions to larger constitutional questions around separation of powers and rights of the accused," and a Supreme Court announcement that same day reported "Judges and lawyers across the state's now studying how House Bill 86 changes the way they issue sentences in criminal cases and learning about the new law through training seminars..."

Sentencing Commission minutes from its last meeting addressed some of those perceived problems along with the Commission’s initial responses. (See Here)

The Sentencing Commission has also issued its summary of 2011 Changes to Criminal & Juvenile Law, and Felony Sentencing and Drug Offense Quick Reference Guides.

• The full text of HB 86 is 420 pages with a 140-page analysis by the Ohio Legislative Commission.

• The Ohio Judicial Conference issued summaries on the bill generally (here), Juvenile Justice Provisions more specifically (here), and an outline of Changes in Juvenile Bindovers (here)

• The Ohio Public Defender’s website has a summary by the Franklin Public Defender’s Office posted

• The Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association has a briefing on major Fully Retroactive H.B. 86 Changes to Judicial Release

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