(WKBN) — Ballot Issue One covers bail reform. It is outlined below.
- Require Ohio courts, when setting the amount of bail, to consider public safety, including the seriousness of the offense, as well as a person’s criminal record, the likelihood a person will return to court, and any other factor the Ohio General Assembly may prescribe.
- Remove the requirement that the procedures for establishing the amount and conditions of bail be determined by the Supreme Court of Ohio.
Ballot Issue One stems from the Dubose case. Republican Justice candidates went on a statewide tour to promote Ballot Issue One in October.
They dissented with the majority opinion, who agreed in a Supreme Court case the bond was excessive in that particular case.
Each of the Ohio Supreme Court Justice candidates weighed in on the issue.
In the race for Chief Justice:
“The question is how do you feel about it? Do you believe when a trial court judge sets the bond of a dangerous offender they should be permitted to consider to consider community safety. If you believe that then it’s a yes vote,” said Republican candidate Sharon Kennedy.
“What people need to realize and I think they’ll see if they read their ballot language, it does take away from the Ohio Supreme Court any ability to create rules on how judges set bail, and that seems that it would then fall in the lap of the legislature,” said Democratic candidate Jennifer Brunner.
In the race for one open justice seat:
“I think it’s ridiculous that judges in Ohio should not be allowed to consider public safety when they set bail for violent criminals. I’m out here today because I’m supporting this effort to repeal the court’s decision,” said Republican candidate Patrick DeWine.
“I’m a judge. I’m not an advocate. So what I believe is inconsequential. If issue one passes that’s the law of the land. Right now the law of the land is governed by a decision by the Supreme Court and it is my role to uphold the law,” said Democratic candidate Marilyn Zayas.
In the race for the other open justice seat:
“It was a means of the four majority to legislate from the bench without going through the legislature and change our Ohio Revised Code or our criminal rules,” said Republican candidate Patrick Fischer.
“Your trial court judges are the ones who set bail and bond. It does not make sense to me that the legislature should interfere with a co-equal branch of government,” said Democratic candidate Terri Jamison.
Regardless of who wins these races, one Justice will be appointed by either Governor Mike DeWine or, if elected, Nan Whaley.
Maureen O’Connor’s position as Chief Justice ends Dec. 31. She will be aging out of sitting on the court.
Ohio law states the governor appoints a justice after the current one retires. Governor Mike DeWine’s current term ends January 9.