How Far Prosecutors Will Go to Get a Prison Term


Last week, the Franklin County Court of Appeals in Columbus, Ohio issued a decision that highlights how far some prosecutor's will go to get a prison term on a person who needs mental health treatment. (State v. Martin, 09AP-1073, 12/2/10)

Mr. Martin pled guilty to a single charge of felonious assault in October 2008. He was sentenced a month later. He had already served 191 days in jail awaiting sentencing and the trial judge ordered an additional 120 days of jail for a total jail sentence of 311 days. Upon serving out the 311 days, the trial judge ordered the defendant to receive community control and not a prison term which was sought by the State. He pled guilty to an offense that has a presumption of prison of at least two (2) years. The trial judge carefully reviewed the entire record and thought the most appropriate sentence was a non-prison term.

The prosecutor's office appealed arguing that the trial judge erred by not imposing a prison term. The court of appeals reversed the non-prison term. On re-sentencing, the judge stated his reasons more fully and reinstated the original sentence. The prosecutor's office appealed yet again. This time, however, the court of appeals affirmed the trial court's sentence concluding that the judge sufficiently stated his reasons for not imposing a prison term.

2 years and 2 appeals resulting in the original sentence imposed.