Ohio Attorney General Files Motion for Clarification

June 15, 2010

The Ohio Attorney General Filed yesterday a Motion for Reconsideration in the Ohio Supreme Court in response to the Bodyke vs, Ohio decision of June 3, 2010.


In accordance with Supreme Court Practice Rules 11.2 and 14.4, the State of Ohio and the Ohio Attorney General respectfully move this Court for clarification of its June 3; 2010 decision in State v. Bodyke, 2010 Ohio Lexis 1271, 2010-Ohio-2424.

Neither the State nor the Attorney General is asking the Court to reverse its holding that two provisions in the Ohio Adam Walsh Act (“the Walsh Act”), which required the Attorney General to reclassify sex offenders who had been judicially classified under the old Megan’s Law, violate the separation-of-powers doctrine. Id. at ¶¶ 60-61. Rather, the State and the Attorney General seek clarification of the Court’s remedy-specifically, whether the Court facially invalidated R.C. 2950.031 and R.C. 2950.032, and thereby struck the provisions entirely, or whether the Court only invalidated those provisions as applied to sex offenders who had been judicially classified under Megan’s Law.

The Attorney General’s Office is moving quickly (No, they are not) to update the State’s sex-offender registry (e-SORN) to comply with the Bodyke decision. For offenders who received Megan’s Law classifications by court order before the effective date of the Walsh Act, the Office will update e-SORN to reflect the original Megan’s Law classifications and notify these offenders of the reclassification (When? ). Absent clarification from this Court, however, the Attorney General does not know what classifications to input for a significant segment of sex offenders who did not receive a Megan’s Law classification by court order.

All parties-the State and the offenders themselves-will benefit from clarification. Such a pronouncement will ensure that the Attorney General, the county prosecutors, and the county sheriffs properly implement the Court’s directive; it will provide clear notice to individual offenders as to which framework-Megan’s Law or the Walsh Act-applies to them; and it will accord the Bodyke decision the finality this Court intended.

I am told by the Ohio Public Defender’s office that this request for clarification is with regard to those who went to prison before Megan’s Law was effective (so, before July 1, 1997) and were released after Senate Bill 10 went into effect (so, after July 1, 2007). Those people would never have been classified under Megan’s Law, so they didn’t have a prior judicial order classifying them under the Megan’s Law, risk-based system. Since the language in Bodyke talks about prior judicial orders, the AG’s office is asking the Court to clarify how the Bodyke decision should affect this group of people.

To understand this motion, know the following sub-groups discussed in this motion (pages 6-8):

Group A: “Offenders who were sentenced between July 1, 1997 and July 1, 2007. Bodyke unquestionably applies to this first class of offenders. These individuals received a Megan’s Law classification “by court order,” and had their status under Megan’s
Law “adjudicated by a court and made the subject of a final order.” Under Bodyke, this group of offenders may not be reclassified under the Walsh Act. Rather, their Megan’s Law classifications remain in effect.”

Group B: “Offenders who were incarcerated before July 1, 1997, and who were released
before July 1, 2007. These individuals may not have received a formal order from a court specifying their Megan’s Law classification.”

Group C: “C. Offenders who were incarcerated before July 1, 1997, and who were released after July 1, 2007. These are offenders who were incarcerated before July 1, 1997 and therefore did not receive a Megan’s Law classification at the time of sentencing”

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