Can Trial Courts Impose Prison Sentence Without Giving a Reason ?
Can Trial Courts Impose Prison Sentence Within Statutory Range and Impose Maximum Consecutive or More Than Minimum Sentences Without Giving a Reason ?
In State v. Foster, 109 Ohio St.3d 1, 2006 Ohio 856, 845 N.E.2d 470, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that certain sections of Ohio's sentencing code violated the principles announced in Blakely v. Washington because they required judicial findings of fact not proven to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt before a court could impose certain sentences.
Among these provisions was R.C. 2929.14(E) regarding consecutive sentences.
The Ohio Supreme Court found this section, among others, unconstitutional and excised it from Senate Bill 2.
The Supreme Court further held that, after the severance, "trial courts have full discretion to impose a prison sentence within the statutory range and are no longer required to make findings or give their reasons for imposing maximum, consecutive, or more than the minimum sentences." Foster, supra, at P100.