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Johnson's bipartisan, cost-saving sentencing reform gets House nod

Lawmaker says measure will ease pressure on overloaded courts, streamline rehabilitation
May 19, 2015
Democrat Newsroom

Press Release Poster

State Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron) today commended the passage of House Bill 123. The bi-partisan bill, sponsored by Rep. Johnson and former Ohio Supreme Court Justice, State Rep. Bob Cupp (R-Lima) makes important changes to pre-sentence investigation report (PSI) requirements regarding community control sanctions. The bill also aligns certain state laws regarding the use of an alibi defense with corresponding state criminal rules.

“Without the requirement for a PSI prior to the imposition of community control, cases that would and should easily resolve with a term of probation will no longer be eating up valuable time, docket space and financial resources in the community,” said Rep. Johnson. “This streamlines rehabilitation in many cases.”

The bill gives the court the authority to impose a community control sentence, such as a term in a halfway house or probation, if the two adverse parties agree it is the best outcome for the case.

“In the State v. Amos ruling last year, the Ohio Supreme Court explicitly asked the General Assembly to address this flaw in our already over-burdened criminal justice system,” Rep. Johnson added. “This legislation answers their call for reform and will save local governments much needed funds.”

HB 123 now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.