FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Assia Johnson, Communications Director
CINCINNATI, OHIO, October 19, 2022—Voters in next month’s general election are being asked to change the Constitution’s provisions related to bail under the guise of a legitimate public safety argument. But proponents of Issue 1 have created an unworkable and deceptive constitutional amendment that serves the interest of Ohio prosecutors and secures a financial windfall for the bail bonds industry.
The proponents of Issue 1 erroneously lay blame at the feet of the Ohio Supreme Court’s bi-partisan decision in the case of DuBose v. McGuffey, which merely reinforced the purpose of bail is to ensure appearance for trial. The claim by backers of Issue 1 since late-March has been that judges are not able to make public safety considerations when setting bail as a result of the DuBose case. But proponents well know judges make public safety determinations every day. The creators of Issue 1 employ scare tactics and false claims to deceive the public because they desperately want to overturn the DuBose decision.
“Ohio courts make public safety considerations every day, and for proponents of Issue 1 to suggest otherwise is disingenuous and intentionally misleading,” said David Singleton, executive director of the Ohio Justice & Policy Center. “Safety considerations are baked into the process for determining bail, and that’s why prosecutors now can request no bail for someone they believe to be a threat. OJPC is a hard no on Issue 1 because it will only lead to more poor people being locked up without trial.”
Through Issue 1, which was designed by Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters and the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, proponents are making it much easier to detain people without trial, and to cut out the Ohio Supreme Court from any rulemaking authority on bail in retaliation for the DuBose decision.
OJPC deputy director LaToya Bell said, “Ohio doesn’t need to double down on the already-broken cash bail system that puts poor people in pretrial detention and allows wealthy dangerous people to go free. There is no correlation between how much money is in someone’s bank account and whether they pose a risk to public safety.”
The Ohio Justice & Policy Center urges Ohioans to vote no on Issue 1, a dangerous and deceptive amendment that enshrines wealth-based detention into the Ohio Constitution for the benefit of Ohio prosecutors.
About Ohio Justice & Policy Center
Founded in 1997 by Alphonse Gerhardstein, the Ohio Justice & Policy Center (OJPC) is a national non-profit law firm and advocacy organization with offices in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, offering a spectrum of free legal services, programs, and resources to help people navigate the complexities of our criminal legal system. OJPC works on criminal legal reform efforts across the state, including but not limited to capital punishment, sentencing, bail, collateral sanctions, human rights of incarcerated people and policing.