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Ohio Supreme Court upholds Reagan Tokes Law

Reagan Tokes
Reagan Tokes

The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the Reagan Tokes Law, which allows for offenders who break the law or other rules behind bars to receive up to the maximum prison sentence.

The law is named after a 21-year-old Ohio State University student who was abducted, raped and killed in February 2017 by an Ohio parolee. It requires judges to set a minimum and maximum prison sentence for those convicted of first and second degree felonies.

Two Ohio inmates sentenced under the new law in 2019 had challenged it, arguing that it violates the separation of powers between the judicial and executive branches.

The law allows offenders receive a hearing before the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, and that the department then may extend the minimum sentence but not exceed the maximum term imposed by the trial court, if ODRC finds the inmate remains a threat to society.

The court voted 5 to 2 that the Reagan Tokes Law does not violate the constitutional rights of inmates.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.