Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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The Supreme Court answered a certified question of law by holding that a defendant is not entitled to jail time credit for pre-sentence detention time when held on bond if, during the same period of time, he is serving a sentence on an unrelated case. On appeal from his sentence, Defendant argued that he was entitled to an award of jail time credit from the time that his bond was revoked on felony charges, regardless of the fact that he was already incarcerated for a probation violation. The appellate court determined that Defendant was entitled to credit for the entire time he was incarcerated since his bail was revoked. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Defendant was not entitled to jail time credit while held on bond because, at the same time, he was serving a sentence on an unrelated case. View "State v. Cupp" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and death sentence of Appellant, who murdered his mother, but reversed an aggravated robbery charge against him that was used as one of three specifications supporting the prosecution’s effort to seek the death penalty. The Supreme Court held (1) the trial court did not err in overruling Defendant’s motion to suppress; (2) no prejudicial error occurred during jury selection; (3) the trial court erred in admitting certain other acts evidence, but the errors were harmless; (4) the prosecutor did not commit misconduct during closing argument; (5) Defendant’s sentence was appropriate; (6) any error on the part of defense counsel during the penalty phase was harmless; (7) cumulative errors did not render Defendant’s trial unfair; and (8) the evidence failed to support the finding that Defendant “deprived” the victim of property or that Defendant’s “purpose” was to deprive the victim of the property at issue. View "State v. Tench" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant’s complaint for a writ of mandamus against Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Dennis J. Langer, holding that Appellant had an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law and thus was not entitled to relief in mandamus. Appellant was convicted of four counts of rape and other offenses. His convictions and sentence were affirmed on appeal. Appellant later filed a complaint for a writ of mandamus asking the court of appeals to compel Judge Langer to issue a revised sentencing entry that complied with Crim.R. 32(C), asserting that his sentencing entry was not a final, appealable order. The court of appeals dismissed the complaint, concluding that Appellant could have raised his mandamus claim in an appeal from the trial court’s judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the entry denying Appellant’s motion for a new sentencing order was a final, appealable order pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code 2505.02(B)(1), and therefore, Appellant was not entitled to relief in mandamus. View "State ex rel. Henley v. Langer" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying Appellant’s petition for writs of mandamus and/or procedendo that he filed against Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John J. Russo, holding that Appellant could not prove entitlement to either writ because the record demonstrated that he had an adequate remedy by way of an appeal from the denial of his motion for a final, appealable order. Appellant pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated murder and two counts of aggravated burglary. Appellant later filed a motion in the trial court for a final, appealable order, arguing that the sentencing entry in his case violated Crim.R 32. Judge Russo denied the motion. Appellant then filed this action. The court of appeals granted summary judgment in favor of Judge Russo and denied the writs. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding Appellant was not entitled to a writ of mandamus or procedendo because he had an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law in the form of a direct appeal from Judge Russo’s entry denying Appellant’s motion for a new sentencing entry. View "State ex rel. Daniels v. Russo" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that a criminal defendant on postrelease control for a prior felony must be advised, during his plea hearing in a new felony case, of the trial court’s ability under Ohio Rev. Code 2929.141 to terminate his existing postrelease control and to impose a consecutive prison sentence for the postrelease-control violation. While on postrelease control for a prior felony conviction Defendant pleaded guilty to possession of heroin. The trial court did not inform Defendant that once he pleaded guilty the court would have the authority under section 2929.14 to terminate his existing postrelease control and impose a prison term to be served consecutively to the term of imprisonment imposed for the possession offense. The trial court subsequently sentenced Defendant to a nine months in prison for the possession offense and, for the postrelease-control violation, ordered Defendant to serve a one-year prison term under section 2929.141 consecutively to the sentence for the possession offense. The appellate court reversed and vacated Defendant’s guilty plea, concluding that the trial court erred by failing to advise Defendant, at the time of his plea, that he could have to serve an additional, consecutive sentence for his current postrelease control violation. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Crim.R. 11(C) requires that advisement. View "State v. Bishop" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant’s complaint for a writ of mandamus against the director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC), holding that there was no error in the court of appeals’ judgment. Appellant, an inmate, filed a complaint requesting a writ of mandamus to order DRC to remove a federal detainer that Appellant alleged was erroneously placed on his prison record. After DRC removed the detainer, the director filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, Thereafter, Appellant filed a motion for declaratory judgment seeking to prevent placement of future detainers. The court of appeals dismissed the complaint as moot. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals (1) properly dismissed Appellant’s complaint because the detainer was no longer on Appellant’s prison record; (2) correctly denied Appellant’s motion for declaratory judgment; and (3) did not err in denying Appellant’s motion for summary judgment. View "State ex rel. Evans v. Mohr" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the appellate court determining that Ohio Rev. Code 2947.23(C) permits trial courts to waive, modify or suspend payment of only those court costs that were imposed after the statute’s effective date, holding that the statute does not authorize a trial court to waive, modify, or suspend the payment of court costs that were imposed prior to March 22, 2013, the effective date of section 2947.23(C). In this case, the trial court ordered Defendant to pay court costs at a sentencing hearing in 1999, and Defendant failed to move for a waiver of costs. The Supreme Court noted that section 2947.23(C) provides that for sentences entered on or after March 23, 2013, the trial court retains jurisdiction to waive, suspend, or modify the payment of the costs of prosecution at time. The Court then held that for sentences entered prior to that date, an offender may only seek waiver of costs at sentencing and any subsequent collateral attack on the court’s order is barred by res judicata. In the instant case, the Court held that res judicata precluded the motion Defendant filed to waive the payment of all fines and costs. View "State v. Braden" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing Defendant’s conviction and discharging him from further prosecution after the trial court accepted Defendant’s plea of no contest to a charge of cruelty to animals and finding Defendant guilty but neglecting to ask for an explanation of the circumstances, holding that the Double Jeopardy Clause did not bar Defendant’s retrial. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial court erred by failing to obtain an explanation of the circumstances before finding him guilty. The court of appeals agreed, reversed Defendant’s conviction and, reasoning that the reversal was based on insufficient evidence, concluded that jeopardy had attached and barred further proceedings against Defendant. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the reversal of Defendant’s conviction was not based on insufficiency of the evidence, but, rather, on a procedural error; and (2) therefore, the double jeopardy protection did not bar Defendant’s retrial. View "Girard v. Giordano" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the trial court’s decision denying Defendant’s Motion to Vacate Judicial Sanction and reinstated the judgment of the trial court, holding that postrelease control was properly imposed. Defendant was sentenced by the common pleas court to a prison term and to post-release control. Defendant later pleaded guilty to robbery and theft. The trial court found that Defendant was on post-release control at the time he committed the offenses, terminated the post-release control, and ordered that the remainder of the post-release control be served as a prison term. Defendant moved to vacate the judicial sanction, but the trial court denied the motion. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the failure to the common pleas court sentencing entry to advise Defendant to the consequences contained within Ohio Rev. Code 2929.141(A) prohibited the sanctions from being imposed. The Supreme Court reversed based on State v. Gordon, 109 N.E.3d 1201 (Ohio 2018), and State v. Grimes, 85 N.E.3d 700 (Ohio 2017), holding that a trial court is not required to notify an offender of the penalty provisions for violating postrelease control contained in section 2929.141(A). View "State v. Johnson" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals denying a writ of mandamus to Michael Cobb, an Ohio prisoner, holding that Cobb was not entitled to the writ. Michael Cobb filed his complaint for a writ of mandamus requesting an order compelling the Ohio Adult Parole Authority to correct five alleged inaccuracies in the records that the Ohio Parole Board relied on in denying Cobb’s request for parole and to hold a new hearing. The court of appeals denied the writ on the grounds that Cobb failed to demonstrate a substantive error that may have influenced the parole board’s consideration of parole. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that there was not a credible allegation of error in Cobb’s parole-board file sufficient to trigger the parole board’s duty to review his file. View "State ex rel. Cobb v. Adult Parole Authority" on Justia Law