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Ohio Court: Bond Cash Deposits Unconstitutional

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that requiring criminal defendants to pay a cash-only deposit when posting bond violates the state Constitution. The court says the 10-percent cash deposit can remain an option for defendants, but it cannot be a requirement by judges. Justice Sharon Kennedy said in the court's 5-2 decision Tuesday that the Constitution's only requirement is that defendants be "bailable by sufficient sureties." At issue were complaints filed by bail bond companies with the court over requirements for cash-only deposits by judges in Wayne and Licking counties. Bond companies typically assume the burden of forfeiting the entire bail amount if the criminal defendant who hires them fails to show up in court.