Thursday, August 25, 2016
In State v. Hand, the Court held R.C. 2901.08(A) to be unconstitutional as violative of the due process clauses of the Ohio and US Constitutions. That statute provided that an adjudication as a delinquent child constitutes a prior conviction for purposes of mandatory sentence calculation. The Court held the statute unconstitutional because juvenile determinations are made by the court without the benefit of a jury, thus running afoul of Apprendi v. New Jersey. The Court left open the possibility that juvenile delinquency adjudications could nevertheless be factors considered by the sentencing court in its discretion. Justices Terrence O'Donnell, Sharon L. Kennedy, and Judith L. French dissented.