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Legislative Update


One of the stated missions of OACDL is to serve as a public policy resource for the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government, seeking to promote the formulation of sound criminal justice law-making and responsible law enforcement.   To that end, OACDL is committed to an active role in pending criminal justice legislation and rules governing practice and procedure in the courts of Ohio. 

Providing an independent, expert resource to Ohio criminal justice policy-makers and journalists covering criminal justice issues is an important OACDL function.   Requests for information and advice on pending policy issues  will  receive a prompt and thorough response.


FAIR TRIAL: Greater disclosure of pretrial evidence assures fairer trials and fewer false convictions.

COURT EFFICIENCY: Delays in pretrial disclosure of evidence is a major financial cost factor resulting from delays in the resolution of criminal cases.


NON-MANDATORY SENTENCES:  Justice  requires that judges be permitted to exercise discretion  in determining what punishment fits the crime. 


DNA EVIDENCE PRESERVATION: Standards should exist providing for the preservation of all evidence suitable for DNA testing.

RECORDED INTERROGATIONS: All custodial interrogations should be subject to mandatory videotape or audio recording.

RELIABLE LINE-UP IDENTIFICATIONS: Police must utilize procedures which assure reliable line-up and photo identifications of suspects.

Contact Information:

Barry W. Wilford, Esq.
Sarah M. Schregardus, Esq.
OACDL Public Policy Chairs
492 City Park Avenue
Columbus, OH  43215
Telephone 614.628.0100
Fax: 614.628.0103

Susan Carr
OACDL Executive Director
713 S Front Street
Columbus, OH 43206
Telephone: 800.443.2626
Fax: 740.6097

Pending Legislation:

SB 97: (Hughes, LaRose) Firearm Restrictions, Firearm Penalties and Sentencing

Previously SB 121 in the 130th General Assembly.

(Introduced 03/03/15)

This bill would increase by 50% the mandatory prison term for an offender who is convicted of a firearm specification and previously has been convicted of a firearm specification.  Further the bill would prohibit some citizens from knowingly acquiring, having, carrying, or using any firearm or dangerous ordnance.  The bill will provide certain prisoners credit or time spent in jail in determining eligibility to apply for judicial release.  The bill provides no presentence investigation report is required for shock probation to be granted to an offender convicted of an offense before July 1, 1996.

[OACDL opposed the lookback; testified against (Read Testimony  Here )]

HB 57: (Maag) Raising Minimum Parole Eligibility & New Death

Previously HB 644 in the 130th General Assembly.

(Introduced 02/12/15)

This bill would raise the minimum parole eligibility for an offender convicted of Aggravated Murder by five years, while adding new alternatives of life sentences of parole eligibility after 35 years, 45 years, and 55 years.  The second change is the bill creates a new death specification, that being purposeful killing committed with prior calculation and design.

[OACDL opposed; testified against (Read Testimony Here)]

HB 663: (Buchy and Hoffman) Confidentiality and License Protection for Persons and Entities involved in Executing a Sentence of Capital Punishment

(Introduced: 11/10/14)

This bill would provide confidentiality and license protection for persons and entities involved in executing a sentence of capital punishment by lethal injection and to avoid as against public policy any agreement that prevents the supplying of any drug or drugs to be used in executing a sentence of capital punishment by lethal injection.

[OACDL opposed; testified against (Read Testimony Here)]

HB 508: (Butler) Controlled Substance Aggravated Murder

(Introduced 03/25/14)

This bill would create a new form of aggravated murder where anyone who provides a controlled substance to someone who subsequently dies, would be guilty of aggravated murder.  This would be a strict liability offense.  There would be no defense that the consumer voluntarily took the substance, and there would be no requirement that the controlled substance have been sold.

[OACDL opposed; testified against (Read Testimony Here); House Judiciary Committee approved 10/8/14]

HB 469: (Johnson & Scherer) Annie's Law - OVI Interlock Device

(Introduced 03/06/14)

Among other things, the law would require all those accused of OVI to obtain an Interlock Device.  The Ohio Judicial Conference opposed this legislation.

[OACDL opposed] 

HB 349: (Hackett) Destiny's Law - Sentencing Specification

(Introduced 11/13/13)

The law would create a specification that would add 5 to 10 years of mandatory time to anyone convicted of a violent felony who causes serious permanent physical harm.

[OACDL opposed; testified against (Read Testimony Here); House Judiciary Committee approved 09/30/14]

Prior Legislation:

HB 447 Testimony by OACDL Legislative Co-Chair, Sarah Schregardus.  This bill greatly expands the right of the prosecutor to appeal, including interlocutory appeals.

HB 86 Testimony by OACDL Legislative Director, Barry Wilford. 

SB 10: (Austria) Adam Walsh Implementation Act
(Introduced 2/20/07; effective 6/30/07)

Implements federal legislation regarding SORN laws for adult and juvenile offenders, and repeals much of Ohio’s prior SORN legislation. Retroactive application for all offenders under SORN jurisdiction prior to the effective date.

[OACDL opposed; testimony given by Jay Macke]

SB 17: (Grendell) OVI
(Introduced 2/20/07)

OVI offender w/ Single-prior w/in 6 yrs. is required to attend Driver Intervention Program in addition to all other sentencing mandates. In addition to forfeiture of operated vehicle, expands vehicle immobilization of all vehicles owned by the offender from 90 days to one year, and impoundment of all plates of offender-owned vehicles for same time period. Expands the 'hard suspension' (no occupational privileges) of single-prior offenders from 90 days to one year. Expands the 'wrongful entrustment' provision to remove the element of proof that the lender 'knew or had reasonable cause to believe' that the offender had no operating privileges or that his operation would constitute an OVI offense. Requires judge setting bail to a single-prior OVI offender to include conditions that defendant not consume alcohol and that they must wear a continuously monitoring alcohol detection device.

[OACDL opposes the hard suspensions and wrongful entrustment provisions]

SB 18: (Clancy) Expungement/ Importuning
(Introduced 2/20/07; effective 8/30/07)

Adds Importuning and other sex offenses committed against a juvenile-victim to non-expugnable offenses.

[OACDL opposed in original form. Bill amended based on OACDL testimony/ recommendation to limit reach of bill to offenses committed after the effective date of the legislation.]

SB 145: (Stivers) Fleeing police on foot

Enacts new felony offense of fleeing police by any non-vehicle means. Misdemeanor-2. If the underlying offense is a felony: F-4. If serious physical harm to persons or property caused or risked: F-3.

[OACDL opposes]

SB 183 (Shaffer) Importuning/Mandatory sentence
(Introduced 6/13/07)

Adds Importuning to the list of mandatory sentence offenses, if the offender uses a telecommunications device.

[OACDL opposes]

SB 208 (Grendell) Repeat Offender Specification/Maximum Sentencing Presumption
(Introduced 8/14/07)

Bill creates a new specification for an offender charged with any felony offense who has been convicted of 2 or more felonies in the past. Guilt of the offense and specification changes the felony sentencing ranges to:

F-1: 6, 8, 10, 14, 16, 18 or 20 years

F-2: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 years

F-3: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 years

F-4: 12, 14, 16,18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36 months

F-5: 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24 months

Also creates a sentencing presumption in favor of the longest sentence for any offender (except death/life or mandatory sentences) who has been previously convicted of a felony.

SB 228 (Stivers) 'Roberta's Law'
(Introduced 10/4/07)

Strengthens the victim notice requirements for judicial release proceedings and Parole Board actions. Provides that Manslaughter committed with a sexual motivation is a sexually oriented offense (Tier III) for adults and juveniles. Amends the evidentiary provisions of the Open Full Board Parole hearings to allow the victims to be able to present a five minute video of the victim.

HB 130: (White/Yancy) DRC Omnibus Bill
(Introduced: 3/27/07)

Expansive legislation regarding DRC operations. Provisions include removing the 10 year cap on Judicial Release eligibility, and expanding transfer of inmates to other countries pursuant to U.S. treaties.

[OACDL supports these two provisions]

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