Felony Sentencing in Ohio: Then, Now, and Now What?
The United States Department of Justice, Criminal Division, stated in its annual letter to the United States Sentencing Commission, on July 29, 2014: [The] use of risk assessments to determine sentences erodes certainty in sentencing, thus diminishing the deterrent value of a strong, consistent sentencing system that is seen by the community as fair and tough. Our brothers and sisters in the defense and research communities have repeatedly cited research to the Commission about the value and efficacy of certainty of apprehension and certainty of punishment in deterring crime. Swift, certain and fair sanctions are what work to deter crime, both individually and across society. We know that certainty in sentencing—certainty in the imposition of a particular sentence for a particular crime, and certainty in the time to be served for a sentence imposed—simultaneously improves public safety and reduces unwarranted sentencing disparities. We are concerned that excessive reliance on risk tools will greatly undermine what has been achieved around certainty of sentencing in the federal system. Certainty, deterrence and fairness are the very values that the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission is statutorily required to support in its proposals.