Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters and Common Pleas Judge Megan E. Shanahan testified in front of the House Criminal Justice Committee in support of House Joint Resolution 2.

In January, the Ohio Supreme Court decided that courts cannot consider safety of the community when setting bail.

This joint resolution, if approved by two-thirds of the House and Senate, would place on the ballot language to amend the Ohio constitution to ensure judges can – and must – consider public safety when setting bail.

Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan commented, “When it comes to those who want to get out of jail the day after they were arrested for deadly and violent crimes, Ohioans expect judges to protect the community. The ability of judges to consider public safety must be enshrined in the Ohio Constitution so there is no doubt. Justice cannot be served if judges’ hands are tied.”

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters commented, “I have spent nearly my entire adult life working on behalf of victims of crime. Before I began at the Prosecutor’s Office, I could have never imagined the toll that violent crime takes on people and communities.

Bail reform activists argue that cash bail punish poverty. But, that is not true. Violent crime punishes poverty. Crime skews towards our poorer neighborhoods, but the vast majority of people living in these neighborhoods are good people, just trying to raise their families. But, allowing dangerous, violent criminals out on bond continues the cycles of poverty and violence and will never allow these communities to thrive.

I was proud today to provide testimony in support of House Joint Resolution 2, and I encourage every member of the House and Senate to approve this measure.”