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Commentary and analysis of Ohio criminal law and whatever else comes to mind, served with a dash of snark.  Continue Reading »


Case Update

Slight variation from the customary format.  The USSC is closed for the summer, and while there were a couple of decisions from the Ohio Supreme Court on allied offenses, they merit a separate post.  Plus, the 8th District didn't hand down anything earthshaking last week.  So we'll get right to the courts of appeals summary, with the 8th District cases thrown in afterwards.  Tomorrow I'll look at the two allied offense decisions, and the rest of the week we'll spend discussing the US Supreme Court decisions from the past term.

Criminal.  On Anders brief, 9th District determines that judge's telling defendant at plea hearing that he can "choose whether or not to testify" strictly complies with Rule 11(C)(2)'s requirement that court advise defendant he cannot be compelled to testify against himself... Weird one:  12th District affirms a robbery conviction against insufficient evidence and manifest weight challenges in case where all of the evidence was stipulated to; there was no actual testimony at trial... Defendant's phone conversation with detective was not a custodial interrogation for Miranda purposes, 2nd District rules... 3rd District says that trial judge didn't err in finding that defendant who was on trazodone, lithium, prozac, and other drugs was competent to enter plea, attorney had never requested competency exam... 9th District declares sentence void because while judge said 5-year period of post-release control was mandatory at hearing, journal entry said that defendant "may be supervised by Adult Parole Authority..." 1st District says judge substantially complied with Rule 11, even though he told defendant he would be subject to three years of PRC, because written plea agreement correctly reflected five-year period... In unlawful sexual conduct with minor trial, State granted mistrial after defendant testifies as to minor's sexual activity, 2nd District says no double jeopardy bar to retrial...

Civil.  3rd District says trial court lacks jurisdiction to modify property award so as to compensate husband for improvements he made in home prior to its sale after divorce... Thorough discussion of a complaint for discovery in this 3rd District case...

8th District cases.  Court must conduct hearing before denying motion for relief of disability to have a weapon... Observing defendant wave at girls in car, start to approach car, then go back to own car after he sees police office, not indicative of drug trafficking so as to warrant Terry stop... To convict of having weapon under disability, State need not prove that defendant had actual knowledge of disability; two weeks ago, different panel ruled that indictment had to allege (and State presumably had to prove) that defendant "recklessly" was aware he had prior conviction giving him disability. 

Note to the wise.  In State v. Dunn, the 2nd District says that an audiotape introduced as an exhibit at trial need not be transcribed, but notes that other courts have come to the opposite conclusion, saying that AppR 9(A) requires them to be transcribed. 

Things I don't understand.  The defendant in State v. Sudderth punched his girlfriend so hard he broke her nose and "pushed her left eyeball down through the bone that forms the bottom of the eye socket."  She testified on his behalf at trial, saying that she'd provoked him by nagging him.   The jury acquitted him of felonious assault, and convicted him of the lesser offense of aggravated assault.


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