WLWT: Inside Ohio’s Issue 1 bond reform proposal

UC Law professor weighs in on proposal before state voters

Ohio voters will consider Issue 1 on the November ballot. If passed it would remove the Ohio Supreme Court’s authority on determining bail amounts and conditions. Additionally, it would require courts to consider public safety and other factors when setting them.

Bond reform gained traction in response to an Ohio Supreme Court ruling in January after a $1.5 million bond was set for a Cincinnati man accused of fatally shooting a man during a robbery.  

A lower court ruled the bond be set at $500,000 and the state’s High Court agreed saying public safety concerns brought forth by the victim’s family could be met by other requirements such as requiring electronic monitoring of the criminal defendant, which was done in the case.

Issue 1 has the support of Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

Donald Caster, assistant professor at UC Law and a staff attorney for the Ohio Innocence Project, spoke with WLWT for a story about the bond proposal. 

“I want to be safe in my community and I want my wife to be safe in our community,” Caster told WLWT. “That all concerns me, but I also don’t want to lock people up without giving them some due process.”

Caster and other legal experts noted that Ohio already has a mechanism to keep dangerous defendants locked up known as a pretrial detention hearing. The hearing requires the prosecution and defense to provide evidence why the accused should or should not be denied bail.

Clear and convincing evidence must be shown the accused committed the offense and is a danger to society.

“One of the other concerns is that the Ohio Constitution says the Ohio Supreme Court makes the rules that courts have to follow in criminal cases including decisions about bail,” says Caster during a WLWT segment.

Listen to the full WLWT segment on Issue 1 in Ohio.

Learn more about Ohio's Issue 1 online.

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.

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