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Criminal Defense, Criminal Law

Criminal Sentencing Database Seeks to Bring Transparency, Fairness to Ohio Courts

To address disparities and promote transparency in sentencing, the Supreme Court of Ohio and the University of Cincinnati have announced a partnership to build a database of criminal sentences imposed by judges around the State of Ohio.

Justice and equity require that similarly situated defendants convicted of the same crimes receive similar sentences. In reality, this does not always occur. Because Ohio law provides for a wide-range of permissive sentences for offenses, trial judges are granted broad discretion when imposing a sentence. To address these concerns, the database will contain vast sentencing data and allow the public to view and filter by characteristics such as race, educational level, criminal record, and other demographics. Once complete, this information will help judges determine appropriate sentences for criminal defendants and attorneys in advocating for fair and consistent sentences for their clients.

The agreement between the Supreme Court of Ohio and the University of Cincinnati will last through June 30, 2023. The project is currently in the “launch phase” of what will likely be a multi-year implementation. Select counties and trial judges around the state have already agreed to provide sentencing data to the The Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission, and more are expected to join over the coming weeks and months.

The criminal justice system can be inconsistent and unforgiving. Attorney Brad Wolfe is a Cleveland criminal defense lawyer experienced in guiding clients through all stages of criminal matters. If you have been charged with a crime or are under investigation, please call (216) 815-6000 to speak with Brad today.

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