10/26/21

Stratton Authored Article for the Daily Dayton News "SB 256 Provides Balance Between Needs of Juveniles and Rights of Victims"

Attorneys & Professionals

Eve Stratton, of counsel in the Vorys Columbus office, authored an article for the Daily Dayton News "SB 256 Provides Balance Between Needs of Juveniles and Rights of Victims". The article focuses on bill SB 256, a law which only requires an opportunity for a parole hearing for juveniles sentenced to long prison sentences. 

The article states:

"A recent news headline read “Ohio Law Banning Life Without Parole for Juveniles.” While the article itself quoted the law and me correctly, the headline was misleading and did a disservice to its readers.

In 2010 and 2012, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that sentencing juveniles to life without parole violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. In 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court followed suit. And in 2021, the Ohio General Assembly passed SB 256 with bipartisan support. These laws only require an opportunity for a parole hearing for juveniles sentenced to long prison sentences. If the juvenile is not considered a good candidate for parole, they will continue to serve the remainder of their prison sentence, potentially the rest of their life.

According to the Courts, juveniles have a constitutional right to a parole hearing, except in the rarest of circumstances. SB 256 provided necessary guidelines for parole and sentencing for judges, as requested by the Ohio Supreme Court. Without these standards, it falls to the discretion of the parole board with no limitations. Repealing SB 256 will not change the right of juveniles to a parole hearing. It will remove the standards by which the parole board must consider each juvenile’s case."

To read the full article, click here.