Welcome to Recod Cliff Notes, Round 2! This is my second attempt to make sense of the more than 4,000 pages of the proposed draft legislation by the Ohio Criminal Justice Recodification Committee. In order to provide a concise summary of relevant provisions, I concentrated on major revisions to sex crimes and registration. But changes have been made which affect sentencing, and in murder, kidnapping and abduction offenses which can lead to registration.
For the “plain text” version,, go to: http://ocjrc.legislature.ohio.gov/Assets/Files/final-plain-language-draft.pdf or to http://ocjrc.legislature.ohio.gov/Assets/Files/final-lsc-draft.pdf for the actual legislative draft.
Definitions for the entire Title 29 of the Revised Code have been moved to Section 2901.01 and are presented in alphabetical order. This proposal includes revised definitions of “eligible offender” for the purpose of a filing a petition for termination of registration under 2950.15, “sexually oriented offenses,” among others, and distinguishes between “Tier I, II and III offenses” and “Tier I, II, and III registrants.” A few of these definitions are included below.
Several sex crimes have been modified to change the statutory age difference between an accused and his accuser to 5 years before he is criminally liable. Others have been modified to provide a standard of “known or should have known,” as in mistaken belief as to the age of the minor. Still others remove the marital exception as a defense to a sex crime (rape), while others retain that as an element of the crime. A brief summary of these changes is shown below.
Changes to SORN allow relief in the following areas:
- Several offenses have been re-classified as lower tier offenses.
- New Tier I and II registrants will be classified according to a risk assessment hearing.
- The residency restriction has been removed for all offenders.
- The Attorney General is required to establish a centralized database.
- All existing (and future) offenders are entitled to petition for termination of registration responsibilities or re-classification of offense.
- The penalty for registration violations will be reduced to a misdemeanor offense for a first time sex offender, and a fifth degree misdemeanor for a repeat sex offender.