The change of surety will be on the fall ballot
The Ohio Constitution currently states that anyone can be bailed by “adequate sureties” unless charged with a capital crime or a felony where “the evidence is clear or the grand presumption”, and whether his release poses a risk to the community.
The proposed amendment would remove this language, stating instead that when setting bail, courts must consider public safety, the person’s criminal record, the likelihood of flight and the seriousness of their offense. The House resolution was amended to add “any factor that the General Assembly may describe” to these conditions.
House Bill 607 echoes the language of the proposed constitutional amendment.
“In all cases, bail should be set having regard to the seriousness of the offense charged, the defendant’s prior criminal record and the likelihood that the defendant will appear at trial in the case,” a statement read. state legislative research analysis. Commission. “The bill expands these factors to require that bail be set taking into account all relevant information, including the risk to public safety.”
State Senator Theresa Gavarone, R-Huron, sponsors SJR 5. State Representatives Jeff LaRe, R-Violet Twp., and DJ Swearingen, R-Huron, are sponsors of HJR 2. LaRe and Swearingen are also the sponsors of HB 607.
The Dubose The ruling upheld an appeals court ruling that public safety cannot be taken into account when determining the level of cash bail for a suspect.
Gavarone called DuBose a “reckless decision” which poses a “direct threat to public safety”.
But opponents, including state Sen. Cecil Thomas, D-Cincinnati, say the amendment is unnecessary because Ohio already has a law allowing for a remand hearing, in which judges can detain someone if they is considered dangerous. It’s separate from the bail process, he said during the SJR 5 Senate hearing.
“Financial terms are intended solely to induce a defendant to return to court for their trial date,” Thomas said.
During the House and Senate hearings, several Democrats denounced the proposed amendment as a political ploy to boost Republican voter turnout in the fall. It would not improve public safety, they said, but would have a disproportionate impact on minorities who often have lower incomes, they said.
According to the ACLU of Ohio, approximately 12,000 people are behind bars every day in Ohio without having been convicted. This represents approximately 60% of those in prison; the ACLU says these people are being held primarily because they can’t afford bail.
Following the May 25 vote, the ACLU of Ohio reiterated its support for HB 315 and SB 182. Patrick Higgins, the group’s political adviser, described HJR 2 and SJR 5 as “obstructing proactive efforts and bipartisan bail reform initiatives that have been in the works for years. .”
“Put simply, the DuBose decision doesn’t need to be fixed,” he said in a press release. “DuBose emphasizes the long-standing constitutional principle that bail is excessive when it exceeds the amount necessary to secure the appearance of the accused. Since its inception, the purpose of cash bail has been – and continues to be – to ensure the appearance in court of those accused of crimes. Cash bail does not promote public safety, it simply allows people who have money to buy their freedom.
State Representatives David Leland, D-Columbus, and Brett Hillyer, R-Uhrichsville, introduced House Bill 315. Their bill would set a “floor” of $200 for bail and set the maximum at 25% of a person’s monthly income, after deducting certain costs such as education and work expenses, Leland said.
It would also significantly expand pretrial detention rules, adding more than 50 crimes to the list of those for which a judge would have to determine the risk a prisoner’s release would pose to others, he said.