Posts Tagged ‘ohio’

Ohio: State v. Spangler

February 19, 2010 Comments off

This is not a new ruling. It dates back to June 2009, but we found we had not adequately posted this ruling in our blogs. Ohio court declares sex offender law a violation of the “Separations of Powers” clause and unconstitutional.

Ohio: State v. Spangler, 2009-Ohio-3178, Ohio Appellate Court, 2009 (PDF)

The 11th Appellate Dist court of Ohio has found the changes made by Senate bill 10 (made according to the Adam Walsh Act) unconstitutional in the case of Spangler v. State, 2009-Ohio-3178. Opinion issued 6-30-2009 which goes as follows:

Appellant, Raymond J. Spangler, appeals the judgment of the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, denying his Petition to Contest Reclassification and classifying him a Tier II Sex Offender. The fundamental principle of the “separation of powers” doctrine as written by our forefathers in the United States Constitution is inviolate, and, therefore, mandates reversal of the decision of the court below. However, Spangler must still comply with the notification and registration requirements under his original sentence.

On January 23, 2001, Spangler was convicted, in Case No. 2000-CR-276, of the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas, of Attempted Corruption of a Minor, a felony of the fifth degree in violation of R.C. 2923.02 and R.C. 2907.04(A), and Public Indecency, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree in violation of R.C. 2907.09(A). At the time of his conviction, Spangler was seventy-three years old. The charges against Spangler stemmed from allegations that he had exposed himself to and fondled neighborhood children six or seven years previously.

On April 27, 2001, Spangler was sentenced to five years of community control, fined $350, and ordered to register for a period of ten years as a sexually oriented offender. Spangler was also required to annually verify his current residence and/or place of employment by personally appearing before the sheriff of the county, pursuant to former R.C. 2950.06(A) and (B)(2).

On November 26, 2007, the Office of the Attorney General issued Spangler Notice of New Classification and Registration Duties Tier II Sex Offender (Adult). Spangler was advised “of changes to Ohio’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2950, ‘SORN’) *** due to Ohio Senate Bill 10, passed to implement the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.” Under the new classification, Spangler is a “Tier II Sex Offender” and “required to register personally with the local sheriff’s office every 180 days for 25 years.”

On January 23, 2008, Spangler filed a Petition to Contest Reclassification, pursuant to R.C. 2950.031(E) and R.C. 2950.032(E), in the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, the county in which he resides and currently registers.

On March 20, 2008, a hearing was held on Spangler’s Petition. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial judge denied the Petition and reclassified Spangler a Tier II Sex Offender. On March 24, 2008, the trial court memorialized its decision in a written Judgment Entry.

On April 22, 2008, Spangler filed his Notice of Appeal with this court. Spangler raises the following assignments of error on appeal.

“[1.] The retroactive application of Ohio’s SB 10 violates the prohibition on ex post facto laws in Article I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution.”

“[2.] The retroactive application of Ohio’s AWA violates the prohibition on retroactive laws in Article II, Section 28 of the Ohio Constitution.”

“[3.] Reclassification of defendant-appellant constitutes a violation of the separation of powers[] doctrine.”

“[4.] Reclassification of defendant-appellant constitutes impermissible multiple punishments under the Double Jeopardy Clauses of the United States and Ohio Constitutions.”

“[5.] The residency restrictions of the AWA violate Due Process Clauses in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I of the Ohio Constitution.”

“[6.] Defendant-appellant cannot be subjected to the community notification requirements under pre-AWA law.”

“[7.] Defendant-appellant cannot be subjected to the community notification requirements under the AWA because it would violate the contract clause of the Ohio Constitution and the plea agreement entered into with the State of Ohio in the underlying criminal proceeding.”

These assignments are considered out of order for the sake of clarity of presentation. …For the remainder of the opinion.. by 11th Appellate Dist Court


OH County Auditor Posting Sex Offender Info

February 10, 2010 Comments off

Ohio State University Lantern: Web site identifies sex offenders.

Finding out if a sex offender is living in your neighborhood just got a little easier. With many students in the process of finding housing for next school year, the frustrations of trying to land that perfect place and location takes a back seat to safety concerns about living in a high-crime area.

Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo announced Jan. 12 an enhanced Web site feature that allows Franklin County residents to identify and locate registered sex offenders who live within a two-mile radius.

The auditor’s Web site, Franklin County’s most popular site with about 1 million people logging in a month, is now providing residents with more than just property values, but also the ability to know their neighbors and peace of mind when searching for a home (as well as an invasion of privacy and a threat to the safety of those on the registry).

After doing a property search on the site’s real estate page, a user can click on “Area Sex Offender Inquiry” and view information on all registered sex offenders, including name, photo, location and crime committed. The Area Sex Offender Inquiry combines information from the Ohio Attorney General’s Web site and Franklin County Sheriff’s Web site. The state attorney general’s Web site shows about 2,400 sex offenders living in Franklin County.

OH: Harassing Elderly Sex Offenders in Nursing Homes

January 21, 2010 Comments off

Columbus Dispatch: Bill shuts sex-offender notification loophole at nursing homes.

A loophole that allows more than 100 registered sex offenders to live in Ohio nursing homes without other residents and their families knowing about their offenses could be closed with state legislation unveiled yesterday.

Senate Bill 130, sponsored by state Sen. Capri Cafaro, D-Hubbard, would require nursing-home administrators to notify residents, family members and guardians when a Tier III sex offender — the most serious level of offense — intends to move to the facility. The hearing yesterday was the first on the bill.

Current law requires the notification of anybody living within 1,000 feet of a sex offender. However, the law does not require nursing-home administrators to inform residents, family or guardians.

Facilities that don’t comply could be fined $100 a day per violation. Proceeds from fines would be used for adult protective services, Cafaro said.

A Dispatch computer analysis last year comparing state records of long-term-care facilities with the existing notification list found that 110 nursing-home residents and six employees were registered sex offenders. Ohio’s number of offenders in nursing facilities nearly tripled in the past five years, according to Perfect Cause, an Oklahoma-based nonprofit group.

Nearly two-thirds of the offenders in nursing homes are Tier III cases, The Dispatch found. The category includes rape, sexual battery, kidnapping a minor and gross sexual imposition on a child younger than 12.

Beverley L. Laubert, the state’s long-term-care ombudsman, urged state lawmakers to pass a law closing the loophole in a report released late last year.

Some argue that notification is unfair and would create unnecessary fear. Attorney General Richard Cordray supports the change, but Sen. Timothy J. Grendell, R-Chesterland, chairman of the committee in which Cafaro’s bill is being heard, is skeptical. He said previously that nursing-home residents and their families can “check for themselves” to see whether an offender resides in the facility.

We urge Ohio readers to contact the above highlighted officials and their own representatives to chastise them for harassing elderly people in nursing homes:

“Re: Senate Bill 130
Stop harassing those elderly residents who have a sex offense in their history. It is more than enough to harass young and able citizens who have made such a mistakes sometime in their lives, but to carry on this harassment into a nursing home, where they live their last days, is shameful. Remember, someday you may wake to find out someone you love just became a sex offender.”

2009 Constitutionalfights Stats

January 12, 2010 Comments off

2009  Constitutionalfights  Stats was founded in January 2008. Since then, we have seen a tremendous growth in the viewership of this blog. Here are the 2009 traffic stats for our blogs.

With over 75,000 views, overall traffic increased over six times from 2008 to 2009 , but predictably declined during the summer and Christmas months.
Viewing total hits from January 2008 through Dec 2009, a steady growth is apparent.

89.63 % of viewers are in the United States. Most of our visitors are from Ohio (22%). Columbus, Dayton and Cleveland ranked 1st through 3rd in Ohio cities, respectively. The second most visitors came from California with
Florida, Texas, Missouri, Indiana, and New York following in site hits, respectively.

Again, just slightly over half of our viewers are male at 51%.
73% of visitors are over age 35 (an increase of 5 %from 2008).
84% white, 8% black, which is not far from the national ethnic distribution.
70% have no children. We would very much like to see more parents made aware of this blog.
52% of visitors earn under $60K income, while 49% earn over $60K.
58% of viewers have a college degree or graduate school education (up 3% from the previous year).

Finally, 71% view this blog at home, versus 29% at a workplace.
2008  Constitutionalfights  Stats was founded in January 2008. Since then, we have seen a tremendous growth in the viewership of this blog. Here are the traffic stats for our blogs.
With over 11,000 views, overall traffic tripled from June to November 2008, but predictably declined during the Christmas month of December.
Most of our visitors are from Ohio, as this blog focuses primarily on the Ohio Adam Walsh Act laws, but covers news and information about these laws nationally. Second place went to California with Texas, Illinois, New York Florida, Virginia and Maryland following in site hits.
Just slightly over half of our viewers are male at 51%.
68% of visitors are over age 35.
81% white, 9% black, which is not far from the national ethnic distribution.
71% have no children. We would very much like to see more parents made aware of this blog.
50% of visitors earn under $60K income, while 50% earn over $60K.
55% of viewers have a college degree or graduate school education.
Finally, 80% view this blog at home, versus 20% at a workplace.
15% of visits are from hardcore addicts of our blog.
51% of visits are by regular viewers.
34% of visits are from passers-by.

OH Supreme Court Accepts 2 More Sex Off. Cases

December 18, 2009 Comments off : OH Supreme Court Accepts 2 More Sex Offender /Adam Walsh Act Cases for Review.

The Ohio Supreme Court accepted two Richland County sex offender reclassification cases for review Wednesday.
Jeffrey Elko and Dennis McGuire are challenging their classifications by the Ohio attorney general, under the Adam Walsh Act.

Richland County Assistant Prosecutor Kirsten Pscholka-Gartner said the cases are among a series of local sex offender reclassification challenges likely to be accepted for review by the state court.

Similar appeals across Ohio are before the court, pending its eventual decision in State v. Bodyke, a Huron County reclassification case the court heard this year.

Richland County Common Pleas Judges James DeWeese and James Henson issued rulings in a series of sex offender classification challenges filed here in 2008. Both judges ruled that Senate Bill 10, also known as the Adam Walsh Act, violated the state constitution’s prohibition against applying laws retroactively.
The Fifth District Court of Appeals later reversed those decisions, saying the local judges erred.

2009-1668. Elko v. State.
Richland App. No. 2008CA0220, 2009-Ohio-4557. Discretionary appeal
accepted; cause held for the decision in 2008-2502, State v. Bodyke, Huron App.
Nos. H-07-040, H-07-041, and H-07-042, 2008-Ohio-6387; and briefing schedule

2009-1811. McGuire v. State.
Richland App. No. 08 CA 227, 2009-Ohio-4397. Discretionary appeal accepted;
cause held for the decision in 2008-2502, State v. Bodyke, Huron App. Nos. H-07-
040, H-07-041, and H-07-042, 2008-Ohio-6387; and briefing schedule stayed.

OH Senate Wants Tougher SORN Registration Law

December 1, 2009 Comments off

Ohio SB 217 : 128th General Assembly.Regular Session 2009-2010 (read bill here)
Introduced by Senator Turner
Cosponsors: Senators Cafaro, Smith, Strahorn, Miller, R., Fedor, Wagoner, Kearney, Morano

To amend sections 2950.04, 2950.041, 2950.06, 2950.081, 2950.11, 2950.111, and 2950.13 and to enact sections 2950.044 and 2950.112 of the Revised Code to require sex offenders/child-victim offenders who register a residence address or verify a registered residence address to provide proof of residency at that address, to require Tier III sex offenders/child-victim offenders to verify their registered residence address every 30 days, to revise the criteria for subjecting offenders and delinquent children to SORN Law community notification, to expand SORN Law community notification to also generally apply when offenders or delinquent children verify their registered residence address, and to generally require a sheriff or designee to confirm by personal observation a residence address registered or verified by a Tier III sex offender/child-victim offender.

Call to Action:
All Ohio readers must call,email and write their Ohio Senators and tell them to STOP with the new sex offender (SORN) legislation ! Even as the current Ohio SORN law is under review by the Ohio Supreme Court for multiple Constitutional violations, the Senate wants the make the registration laws even more burdensome.

When Will Ohio Supreme Court Rule on AWA?

November 12, 2009 Comments off

ConstitutionalFights spoke with the Ohio Supreme Court, Clerk of Courts this week.
We asked when the Ohio Supreme Court might be expected to release their decision on Ohio Senate Bill 10
(Adam Walsh Act/SORNA). We were told that typically a ruling is made between 4-6 months after oral arguments, which were heard on Nov. 4, 2009.

Thank you: we thank all those who sent letters to the Court. We heard from a large number of those who sent letters.

Download Audio MP3: If you do not have time to watch the videos of the hearings, we have extracted the audio for you in MP3 format so you can listen in your car or on the run. Click here to download: