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Franklin County Appeals Court Reversed Decision to Grant Judicial Release

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In Columbus Ohio today the Franklin County court of appeals reversed the trial court's judgment granting a defendant judicial release.

Ohio law permits a judge to release an inmate imprisoned for a felony of the first or 2nd only if the judge makes two specific findings: That a sanction other than a prison term would adequately punish the offender and protect the public from future criminal violations based upon a low likelihood of recidivism and that a non-prison term would not demean the seriousness of the offense because the offense was less serious than conduct normally constituting the offense.

Ohio law specifically requires that a judge who grants judicial release to a 1st° or second-degree convicted felon must specify on the record both findings required and also shall list all the factors described in that section that were presented at the hearing.

In this case the Franklin County court of appeals concluded that the trial court "did not expressly find that a sanction other than a prison term would not mean the seriousness of the offenses. Furthermore, the court did not reference or engage in any weighing of the seriousness factors that appear in Ohio revised code section 2929.12.