Monday, June 23, 2014

Ohio: The Effect of a Pardon?

The Supreme Court of the State of Ohio will be considering the case of James Radcliff who, according to the Columbus Dispatch, has "led a good life after a felony-filled span as a youth and young man." According to the Dispatch:
He cared for a disabled wife and five children, was active in his church and rose to become a janitorial supervisor in 21 years working for the Dublin schools. Then, Radcliff was fired when his criminal background was exposed in a story by a weekly newspaper about school employees with checkered pasts. He was reduced to part-time jobs washing dishes and sweeping floors. Shortly before leaving office, former Gov. Ted Strickland pardoned Radcliff in January 2011. A Franklin County judge expunged his convictions, concealing them — for the moment — from public view, reasoning that the action should pair with a pardon. The Ohio Supreme Court is to hear arguments on Tuesday on whether courts have authority to seal conviction records when Ohio governors forgive felons for their pasts.
Radcliff’s public defender says a pardon means little if criminal convictions remain "a mouse-click away."  A Franklin County Prosecutor disagrees, however.  An appellate court has overruled the trial judge because there are not provisions in Ohio law that explicitly allow the sealing of such records. See story here.

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