Does R.C. 2950.09 Apply Retroactively to Sex Offenders ?
In State v. Cook, 83 Ohio St.3d 404, 410, 1998 Ohio 291, 700 N.E.2d 570, the Supreme Court of Ohio analyzed former R.C. 2950.09 and determined that it applied retroactively "to those sex offenders who were convicted and sentenced prior to the effective date of the statute and are still imprisoned when the statute became effective."
R.C. 2950.09(C)(1) now states as follows:
"If a person was convicted of or pleaded guilty to a sexually oriented offense that is not a registration-exempt sexually oriented offense prior to January 1, 1997, if that person was not sentenced for the offense on or after January 1, 1997, and if, on or after January 1, 1997, the offender is serving a term of imprisonment in a state correctional institution, the department of rehabilitation and correction shall do whichever of the following is applicable: "
In Cook, the Supreme Court, referring to R.C. 2950, specifically found "that the registration and verification provisions were remedial in nature and did not violate the ban on retroactive laws set forth in Section 28, Article II of the Ohio Constitution."
The Court foud no reason to stray from the Supreme Court's interpretation of R.C. 2950.
Nothing in R.C. 2950 has changed to make it substantive rather than remedial.
Although R.C. 2950.09(C)(2)(a) was amended to include that the trial court may conduct the hearing within one year of the offender's release from prison, it is still remedial in nature, and it is clear the legislature intended for it to apply retroactively to those sex offenders who were convicted and sentenced prior to January 1, 1997 (the original statute's effective date) and are still imprisoned on or after January 1, 1997. See Cook, 83 Ohio St.3d at 410.