Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Play

A new Supreme Court case will focus on state legislative control of federal elections, community health centers seek protection against Big Pharma, and Oregon's estuary management plan gets an update.

Play

A shooting near Chicago leaves six dead and dozens injured, Democratic governors huddle to ensure abortion access, and officials say the "Remain in Mexico" immigration policy will be phased out in the coming weeks.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Opponents: OH Constitutional Amendment Could Undermine Bail Reform

Play

Tuesday, May 17, 2022   

Advocacy organizations of differing ideologies appear to be in agreement when it comes to certain bail reform efforts in Ohio.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear proponent testimony on a proposed fix to an Ohio Supreme Court ruling, which said courts cannot use public safety as a factor in setting bail.

Senate Joint Resolution 5 would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November to allow courts to use public safety and other factors in determining the amount of bail posted.

Alan Smith, criminal justice fellow at the Buckeye Institute, a free-market public policy think tank, argued Ohio would be better served by bipartisan reform efforts in the Legislature.

"The focus here is on accused persons who are in jail because they couldn't organize bail money and people with resources can pay their way out," Smith pointed out. "There's a discrepancy there."

Senate Bill 182 and House Bill 315 would write into law the presumption for release rather than detention and greatly reduce the use of cash bail. The measures also are supported by the ACLU of Ohio, Common Cause Ohio, Ohio Conservatives for Bail Reform, and Policy Matters Ohio.

Supporters of the constitutional amendment, including the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, argued judges should not be limited in their ability to consider victims' rights and public safety. But Smith countered changing the constitution would undermine current and future legislative work.

"It may affect negatively some of the long-term work that's been put into bail reform," Smith explained. "There might be perceived conflicts because one set of rules is in the Constitution and another set would be statutory."

Smith added reducing the use of cash bail will keep people with low-level offenses out of jail and save the state money, while preserving the principle of innocent until proved guilty.

"There's a wide spectrum of ideological interest in making the system better," Smith noted. "It all comes back to public acceptance. The idea is that we could improve the system that's out there, and in that sense, I suppose improve civilization."

The Senate resolution gets its second hearing today. Its companion bill, House Joint Resolution 2, was passed by a House committee last week.

Reporting by Ohio News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation.


get more stories like this via email
Coal-fired energy generation accounts for as much as 80% of air pollutants in some parts of the country. (lilifest/Adobe Stock)

Environment

Groups working to curb climate change said a Supreme Court ruling limiting the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control carbon …


Environment

Government labels on meat products that say "humane" or "raised in a stress-free environment" are meaningless, according to some animal-rights groups…

Social Issues

A new report found when high school students enroll in early college programs, it improves the chances they will go on to college after graduation…


From 2006 to 2015, more than 17,000 Pennsylvanians filed flood claims with FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program, for more than $550 million in damages. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As hurricane season kicks into full gear, Pennsylvania officials are reflecting on the impacts of Hurricane Agnes 50 years ago, and urging property …

Health and Wellness

Texas is home to one in 10 Americans of reproductive age, and mandated births due to the state's abortion ban will increase the number of maternal …

The 340B Drug Pricing Program is an outpatient drug program. (HeungSoon/Pixabay)

Social Issues

Community health centers are calling on state and federal lawmakers for added protections against drug manufactures for drastically cutting them out o…

Environment

The futures of tourism, wildlife and ranching in Mono County are now at the mercy of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power - according to …

Social Issues

Coming off a string of controversial opinions, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a case tied to oversight of federal elections…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021