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Proposed Law To Double Penalties On Repeat Violent Offenders

DeWine Hughes and OBrien (2)_1.jpg
Karen Kasler

Most violent crimes in Ohio are committed by people who have at least two felony convictions. And a bill is coming this week that seeks to lock up those criminals to cut down on gun-related crimes.

The bill would double the required sentence for using a gun in a crime for so-called “career criminals” – the penalty would go from up to 5 years in prison for to 11 years. Data from 1974 to 2010 analyzed by Ohio State shows most violent crimes happened in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien says 80 thousand of the more than 230-thousand people convicted of violent crimes in Ohio in that period committed more than half of the crimes.

O’Brien: less than 1% of the people are committing 57% of our violent crimes.  If you put that 1% in prison, what are you going to do to your violent crimes, the crimes that threaten the families, and threatens each of the urban neighborhoods that it deals with?

Attorney General Mike DeWine says he doesn’t want to take guns from law-abiding citizens, but this bill would take violent offenders away from guns. The legislation, which will be introduced by Columbus Sen. Jim Hughes, does not include any new regulations on background checks for gun purchases.