Articles Posted in Criminal Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Appellant was convicted of aggravated murder, but his conviction was reversed on appeal and remanded. Appellant was subsequently retried and convicted of murder and aggravated murder. In his habeas corpus petition, Appellant asserted that the trial court acted without jurisdiction on remand and also claimed actual innocence. The court of appeals dismissed the petition, ruling that Appellant had been properly convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction and had an adequate remedy at law by which to raise his arguments. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant failed to state a proper claim in habeas. View "Swain v. Harris" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus. In his habeas corpus petition Appellant asserted that the common pleas court lacked jurisdiction over his indictment due to alleged problems relating to the charging complaint and his arrest. The court of appeals granted the motion to dismiss filed by Respondent, the warden of the Marion Correctional Institution, on the ground that Appellant failed to submit an affidavit describing his prior civil actions, as required under Ohio Rev. Code 2969.25(A), and that Appellant’s claims were not cognizable in habeas corpus. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant’s claims were not cognizable in habeas corpus. View "Patrick v. Bunting" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
Appellant failed to disclose his sealed criminal conviction on an application for employment and on applications to renew his registration as an adult-services worker with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. Consequently, Appellant’s employment was terminated by the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The court of appeals affirmed Appellant’s termination. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the questions on the registration applications that explicitly required disclosure of sealed convictions did not violate Ohio Rev. Code 2953.33(B) because the questions bore a direct and substantial relationship to Appellant’s position and to his qualifications for registration; and (2) Appellant was not excused from answering those questions. View "Gyugo v. Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court answered a question certified to it by the Second District Court of Appeals, holding that the general division of the court of common pleas must sentence a juvenile under Ohio Rev. Code Chapter 2929 for all offenses for which the juvenile is convicted in a case if, under Ohio Rev. Code 2152.121(B)(4), at least one offense for which the juvenile was convicted was subject to mandatory transfer. Appellee in this case was charged with being a delinquent child for action that would constitute multiple counts of both aggravated robbery and kidnapping if committed by an adult. The case was transferred from the juvenile court to the general division of the court of common pleas under the mandatory transfer provisions of section 2152.12(A)(1)(b)(ii). Appellee then pled guilty to some charges that were subject to mandatory transfer and some charges that were subject to discretionary transfer. The court of appeals ruled that the charges that were subject to discretionary transfer and resulted in convictions were also subject to the “reverse bindover” provisions of section 2152.121(B)(3). The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals and reinstated the sentence imposed by the trial court for the reasons set forth above. View "State v. D.B." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus. In his petition, Appellant, an inmate, asserted flaws in the charging instrument and his sentence. The court of appeals dismissed the motion, concluding that Appellant’s petition did not comply with the mandatory filing requirements of Ohio Rev. Code 2725.04(D) and 2969.25 and that his claims were not cognizable in habeas corpus. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that neither of Appellant’s claims was cognizable in this action and that Appellant did not comply with sections 2725.04(D) and 2969.25. View "Wills v. Turner" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
The Supreme Court reopened Appellant’s direct appeal of his capital murder conviction to consider whether the trial court had jurisdiction over Appellant’s aggravated murder charge. Appellant was convicted of the kidnapping and murder of ten-year-old Amber Garrett, whose body was discovered in Bright, Indiana. The Supreme Court held that the trial court did not have jurisdiction over the aggravated murder charge under Ohio Rev. Code 2901.11(D) because it could not be determined whether Amber was murdered in Ohio or Indiana. Therefore, the offense was conclusively presumed to have taken place in Ohio. View "State v. Wogenstahl" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
The placement of a suspect in the front seat of a police vehicle during a traffic stop is not alone determinative of whether the suspect has been subjected to a custodial interrogation. In this case, a state highway patrol trooper initiated a traffic stop of Defendant. The trooper asked Defendant to step out of his car and sit in the front seat of the patrol car, where the trooper asked Defendant how much alcohol he had consumed that evening. The trooper then asked Defendant to perform field sobriety tests. Defendant was subsequently cited with two counts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence. Defendant filed a motion to suppress, arguing that the statements he made to the trooper while he sat in the front seat of the patrol car were obtained without the procedural safeguards established in Miranda v. Arizona. The court granted the motion to suppress. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding that the relevant inquiry as to whether a suspect has been subjected to a custodial interrogation is whether, under the totality of the circumstances, a reasonable person in the suspect’s position would have understood himself or herself to be in custody. View "Cleveland v. Oles" on Justia Law

by
Appellant was convicted of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and conspiracy for his role in plotting to kill several local officials. Defendant was sentenced to twenty years’ imprisonment. Appellant filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that his conviction and sentence for engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity were void because of an alleged defect in his indictment. The court of appeals dismissed the petition. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Appellant’s failure to attach to his petition an affidavit as required by Ohio Rev. Code 2969.25(A) warranted dismissal of his petition; and (2) Appellant’s claims were not cognizable in habeas corpus. View "State ex rel. Sands v. Bunting" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
Defendant was convicted of felony murder. On appeal, Defendant did not challenge the sufficiency of the jury verdict forms. In postconviction proceedings, however, Defendant did raise an insufficient-verdict-form claim. Both of Defendant’s motions based on claims that the verdict forms were improper were denied. In the instant case, Defendant sought an order compelling the common pleas judge to vacate his sentence and issue a new judgment entry of sentence, arguing that the jury failed to sign the verdict forms for the predicate offense to his felony-murder conviction and, therefore, the jury failed to find him guilty of the necessary predicate offense to that charge, rendering his sentence for felony murder void. The common pleas judge denied relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Defendant had an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law by way of his direct appeal, and Defendant’s mandamus claim was barred by res judicata. View "State ex rel. Love v. O'Donnell" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the appellate court affirming the nineteen-year prison sentence imposed on Defendant at resentencing for his involvement in the robberies of three individuals and the kidnapping of one of those individuals when Defendant was sixteen years old. Specifically, the court held (1) Defendant failed to show that the trial court imposed the sentence as a penalty for exercising his right to a jury trial instead of pleading guilty; (2) the sentence did not violate the Eighth Amendment because it did not involve the imposition of the harshest possible penalties for juveniles, it was proportionate, and there is no national consensus against imposing mandatory sentences on juveniles tried as adults; and (3) Defendant forfeited his argument that the mandatory sentencing scheme set forth in Ohio Rev. Code 2929 violates due process as applied to children. View "State v. Anderson" on Justia Law