March 4, 2006
Ohio Supreme Court Holds Sentencing Law Unconstitutional
In State v. Foster (Feb. 27, 2006), 2006-Ohio-856 and State v. Mathis (Feb. 27, 2006), 2006-Ohio-855, the Ohio Supreme Court held certain portions of Ohio's sentencing law unconstitutional, specifically ORC 2929.14(B) and (C); 2929.19(B)(2); 2929.14(E)(4); 2929.41(A); 2929.14(D)(2)(b) and (3)(b). These provisions, imposed by S.B. 2, effective July 1, 1996, concern imposing maximum sentences, greater than the minimum sentences, consecutive sentences, and penalty enhancements for major drug offenses and repeat violent offenders. These provisions require judicial factfinding, thus violating a defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a jury tri! al, per Blakely v. Washington. The Ohio Supreme Court found these provisions severable from other portions of the sentencing law. The result is that, "Trial courts have full discretion to impose a prison sentence within the statutory range and are no longer required to make findings or give their reasons for imposing maximum, consecutive, or more than the minimum sentences." See Ohio Applies Blakely and the Booker Remedy! by Douglas Berman, Sentencing Law and Policy Blog, Feb. 27, 2006.
Ron Jones, Reference & Electronic Services Librarian, University of Cincinnati Law Library
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