In 2019, Senate Bill 201, also known as the Reagan Tokes Act, reintroduced an indeterminate sentencing scheme in Ohio whereby sentences are assigned in the form of a range. Under this sentencing scheme, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, through the parole board, has discretion to retain an inmate past the presumptive release date. This fails to afford the accused their guaranteed right to a jury trial, improperly places judiciary power in the hands of the executive branch, and scrutinizes the violation of due process such that the defendant is being denied a fair hearing and notice. Not only is the Bill unconstitutional on these three bases, but it is also promulgated in racially motivated origins and serves as a mechanism for racially biased outcomes. The Bill is ripe for review by the Ohio Supreme Court, and expeditious action is pertinent to prevent further harm to offenders who have been inappropriately sentenced under the Bill and are consequently at risk of over-serving time in prison—an injury to liberty that can never be fully remedied. This Note proposes a replacement system to be implemented upon striking down S.B. 201 as unconstitutional.
Taking the Gavel Away From the Executive Branch: The Indeterminate Sentencing Scheme Under S.B. 201 is Ripe for Review and Unconstitutional,
71 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol71/iss4/9