53 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 1 (2002-2003)
Sentencing Constistency: Basic Principles Instead of Numerical Grids: The Ohio Plan

handle is hein.journals/cwrlrv53 and id is 11 raw text is: ARTICLES
Burt W. Griffint and Lewis R. Katz#
In the 1980's and 1990's, public concern about violent crime and
the growing costs of imprisoning convicted offenders generated sen-
tencing reform   in many jurisdictions.      Most reform    legislation
adopted systems based upon numerical grids. In Ohio, however, the
same considerations led to a sentencing statute utilizing conceptual
principles rather than numerical formulae. Drawing upon experiences
in Ohio and other jurisdictions, the Ohio Plan is a unique approach to
fostering fairer, more consistent, and less costly ways of sentencing
felony offenders.
This article describes Ohio's distinctive system and suggests that
sentencing guidance based upon basic sentencing principles rather
than numerical formulae deserves serious attention. In so doing, the
article examines Ohio's system of general legislative and appellate
guidance, explains how it came about, illustrates how the legislative
guidance is being enforced and elaborated by appellate courts, ex-
plores some of the weaknesses of the Ohio system, and indicates how
greater consistency and predictability in sentencing might be fostered
under such a system. The article suggests that a system of general
legislative guidance coupled with strong appellate review can achieve
consistency in sentencing, control costs, and incorporate new knowl-
t Judge, Common Pleas Court of Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
John C. Hutchinson Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of
Law. The authors thank Martin Levine, Case Western Reserve University Law School, class of
2003, for his invaluable research assistance.
The authors thank Martin Levine, Case Western Reserve University Law School, class
of 2003, for his invaluable research assistance. The authors also wish to thank Professor Jerold
H. Israel, College of Law, University of Florida, Gaineville, Fla., David Diroll, Executive Direc-
tor, Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission, and Fritz Rauschenberg, Associate Director, Ohio
Criminal Sentencing Commission, Columbus, Ohio for their helpful comments on a draft of this

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