BY JESSIE BALMERT • Advocate Reporter • April 15, 2010
COLUMBUS -- A Licking County case could clear up whether Ohio judges need to justify running sentences consecutively.
Since a 2006 Ohio Supreme Court decision, judges have not been required to provide factual findings to justify running sentences one after the other as opposed to at the same time.
On Feb. 26, 2009, Licking County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Marcelain sentenced Travis A. Smith, 32, to three years in prison for selling methamphetamine and two years in prison for selling cocaine. Those terms would be served consecutively for a total of five years imprisonment, according to court records.
Smith and his attorney, Robert Calesaric, appealed the decision, arguing that judges must provide findings as to why consecutive sentences are imposed under an Ohio statute, effective April 7, 2009, according to the Fifth District Court of Appeals opinion.