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Case Update

All together now:  "No new cases from the Ohio Supreme Court."  Well, not exactly.  It did instruct the counsel for respondent to redact personal identifiers contained in a motion for reconsideration.  The attorney in another case had filed a 19-page memorandum in support of jurisdiction, and the rules limit those to 15 pages, so the last four are stricken.

In more meaningful matters, the court did have a big day on November 14, ordering the State to file a response to Reginald Brooks' memorandum in support of jurisdiction by 5:15 P.M.; the State apparently complied, and a short while later that evening the court denied the appeal.  It sent a copy of the notice of that to the court of appeals, but by the time they got it, Brooks was dead, executed at noon on the 15th for killing his three sleeping sons back in 1982 as revenge for his wife's filing for divorce.  His 29 years on death row -- at 66, he was the oldest inmate ever to be executed in Ohio -- did little to rehabilitate him:  he went to his maker giving the finger, with both hands, to the witnesses of his demise.

Down in D.C., two cases make their way to the Supreme Court.  The Court has already accepted the case on the Affordable Health Care Act, and has now scheduled 5½ hours of oral argument, broken down into various sessions over several days.  One session will review the question of the constitutionality of the act's sore point, the portion mandating that all individuals purchase health insurance.  Another will debate whether the invalidity of the mandate renders the entire bill unconstitutional.  The last will concern the Anti-Injunction Act, which prevents a taxpayer suit unless the taxpayer has actually had to pay the tax; since the tax doesn't take effect until 2014, some argue that the courts can't even take up the issue of the constitutionality of the law until then.

Out in California, the California Supreme Court held that backers of Proposition 8, which outlawed gay marriage in California, had standing to defend the Act; the case now goes back to the 9th Circuit.  If the Circuit nullifies the law, the conventional wisdom is that the Supreme Court will have to take on the case.

It's interesting that two of the most controversial political and social issues of our time could be determined by the least democratic branch of government.

In Ohio, appellate court judges, just like all the others, are elected, although they seem to have cut back their activity in anticipation of that most democratic of holidays, Thanksgiving...

A guilty plea waives a speedy trial claim, and the judge has no duty to advise a defendant of his speedy trial rights before accepting the plea, the 6th District rules in State v. White... A trial court couldn't order restitution to an insurance company, but it can order restitution greater than the amount of the offense -- here, $11,000 for a 5th degree felony -- if the defendant doesn't object, says the 1st District in State v. Johnson... The 2nd District holds that a trial court has no duty to advise a defendant about sex offender registration and notification requirements, and in State v. Bush, rejects the defendant's claim that failure to advise him of that created a "manifest injustice" warranting post-sentence withdrawal of his plea... A judge doesn't have to make findings under CrimR 12(F) on a motion to suppress if the findings are "apparent from the record" says the 8th District in State v. Atkinson... The 10th District affirms a tampering with evidence conviction in State v. Owens based upon the defendant's throwing a bag of crack underneath the front of his vehicle when he exited it...

In State v. Drummonds, the 1st District notes that the Supreme Court's decision in State v. Johnson didn't change the law that two different acts of sexual conduct, even if committed in the course of the same sexual encounter, are committed with a separate animus and aren't allied offenses... A judge can't disapprove of shock incarceration or intensive program prison without making the findings required by RC 2929.14, says the 2nd District in State v. Porcher... In State v. Miller, the 11th District rejects the trial court's conclusion that the automobile exception to the warrant requirement applies only when the car is being driven on the highway; the court finds it also applies where the car is parked in an apartment parking lot... The 5th District rejects defendant's ineffective assistance claim in a post-conviction relief petition in State v. McClain; a claim based on difference of opinion between counsel and the client as to whether the client should testify isn't going to cut it... The trial court erred in excluding testimony of co-defendant's cellmates that he'd admitted to them that defendant hadn't been involved in crime, the 5th District holds in State v. Burns; thattestimony was admissible under EvidR 613(B) as proof of a prior inconsistent statement...

More goodies on PRC.  A court sentences defendant to three consecutive 4-year prison sentences, but forgets to impose post-release controls.  Nine years later, the court realizes it, and does an entry imposing them.  In State v. Norman, the 2nd District says there's no problem with that.  A court can impose PRC on all the offenses as long as the offender is still serving the "stated prison term," which the statute defines as a combination of all the prison terms.  The fact that the term for a specific offense expired doesn't help Norman; as long as he was still in prison, the judge could impose PRC.

What happens if the trial court sentences a defendant to six years in prison for one offense, consecutive to a few years on some other offenses, but specifies that the six-year sentence is to be served first?  In that case, says the 3rd District in State v. Ables, the court loses the power to impose PRC for the six-year term when that term expires, even if the defendant is still in prison on the remaining counts. 

Just one off.  In State v. White, the appellant's first assignment of error was:

I. APPELLANT WAS DENIED HIS RIGHT TO A SPEEDY TRIAL PURSUANT TO THE SEVENTH

AMENDMENT TO THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION MADE APPLICABLE TO THE STATES BY THE

FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT.

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