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March 6, 2006

Fascinating Foster follow-up on Ohio sentencing reforms

I continue to be fascinated by reactions to the Ohio Supreme Court's recent big Blakely decision in Foster.  Today the Cincinnati Enquirer, which had the best initial Foster coverage, has this fascinating follow-up article [Update: link fixed] that further examines the impact of Foster and the overall state of sentencing reform in Ohio.  Here are some snippets from an article that is today's must-read for serious students of sentencing reform:

Ohio lawmakers set ambitious goals 10 years ago when they rewrote the rules on how criminals are sentenced to prison....  A decade later, many of those reforms are gone or are in jeopardy....  The result is a system that's confusing and unpopular.  Judges complain that the system is needlessly complicated, offenders have challenged it in court, and prosecutors say it's soft on crime....

[J]udges praised the [Ohio] Supreme Court's [Foster] ruling last Monday, saying it will lead to tougher sentences.  Defense lawyers say it made a bad situation worse.  Differences aside, most agree the system remains flawed. "We've got to get back to fixing sentencing reform," state Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Green Township, said.  "But it's not something you start on Monday and finish on Tuesday."...

David Diroll helped draft the reforms 10 years ago as executive director of the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission.  He said the reforms took a hit from the Supreme Court but are still alive.  He said judges could consider the guidelines as "advisory," in the same way federal judges now use similar guidelines.... Diroll said such an approach in Ohio would preserve one of the fundamental goals of sentencing reform: consistency. "We just have to see whether the judges stay within the basic norms, the constraints, or whether it's open season," Diroll said.

Legislators say they will likely revisit sentencing reform soon.  They're just not sure how many changes they'll make.

Recent posts on Foster:

March 6, 2006 at 07:59 AM | Permalink


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Can anyone explain to me how you can excise a statute that isn't unconstitutional? Does anyone really feel that presumptively concurrent sentences violates the 6th amendment?

Posted by: Ohio Appeals To Me | Mar 7, 2006 5:11:24 PM

Excellent post and thanks for sharing your thought. I will back again.
fostering agencies

Posted by: fostering agencies | Mar 26, 2013 9:43:01 AM

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