Tuesday, January 16, 2018
This is the thirty-sixth in a series of posts on the "51-To-Life" Project. In Tennessee, if a juvenile is convicted of first-degree murder, there are two sentencing options: (1) life without the possibility of parole; or (2) life with the possibility of parole, with that possibility only existing after the juvenile has been incarcerated for 51 years. In this post, I will explain why Ohio treats juvenile homicide offenders better than Tennessee.
Ohio Revised Code Annotated Section 2929.03 states in relevant part that
(A) If the indictment or count in the indictment charging aggravated murder does not contain one or more specifications of aggravating circumstances listed in division (A) of section2929.04 of the Revised Code, then, following a verdict of guilty of the charge of aggravated murder, the trial court shall impose sentence on the offender as follows:
Therefore, Ohio courts can still give juvenile homicide offenders life without parole sentences, but they can also, inter alia, give sentences of life with the possibility of parole after 20 years of incarceration. As a result, Ohio treats juvenile homicide offenders better than Tennessee.