Monday, October 05, 2015
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: Monday, 2/27/2006

Ohio must resentence hundreds under state Supreme Court ruling


COLUMBUS Hundreds of defendants will have to be resentenced because judges considered evidence that wasn t presented at trial, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled today.

The unanimous ruling found parts of Ohio s sentencing law unconstitutional.

The law required judges to consider evidence that a defendant had not admitted to at trial, such as criminal record, which often resulted in longer sentences.

Most of the cases affected by the ruling are repeat offenders or serious drug offenders, the court said.

The ruling follows a 2004 U.S. Supreme Court opinion that threw out similar sentencing guidelines in Washington state on the basis they violated the U.S. Constitution s guarantees of a jury trial.

Although new sentencing hearings will impose significant time and resource demands on the trial courts ... we must follow the dictates of the United States Supreme Court, Ohio Justice Judith Lanzinger wrote in today s ruling.

The ruling singles out six sentencing guidelines included in the 1996 law, in which the Legislature required strict prison terms and allowed judges little leeway. The remainder of the law is not affected, the court said.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

Recommended for You

Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.