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March 2, 2006

A call for Blakely-ization in Ohio

In Foster, the Ohio Supreme Court's big Blakely decision earlier this week (basics here, commentary here and here and here), the court adopted a remedy that "Booker-ized" Ohio's sentencing laws by severing statutory requirements for enhanced sentences.  Interestingly, in this follow-up editorial, the Cincinnati Enquirer has called for a legislative response that would bring jury trial rights to Ohio sentencing:

The [Foster] court made it clear that a legislative remedy is needed.  In fact, justices came as close as they could to telling the General Assembly what to do without appearing to tell it what to do: "(T)he General Assembly may enact legislation to authorize juries to find beyond a reasonable doubt all facts essential to punishment in felony cases, but it has not yet done so," Lanzinger wrote.  Also, "it may well be that in the future the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission may recommend Blakely-compliant statutory modifications ..."

Get the hint, lawmakers?  The General Assembly should get busy and fix Ohio's felony sentencing laws now.

March 2, 2006 at 01:19 AM | Permalink

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