Many people believe that there are major sentencing disparities along racial and socio-economic lines in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, but the actual numbers comparing sentences are not available. There is no excuse for the Court's failure to analyze its sentencing practices and make that information publicly available. The Court should have acted long ago so the hard truth can be known, and so the work of addressing disparities can be undertaken from an evidence-based starting point.
Chris will press every effort to expose inequities and tackle these challenges to ensure that the courts provide equal justice for everyone.
Every day, people charged with criminal offenses are held in jail even though they have not been found guilty of anything. This costs Ohio taxpayers more than $700,000 per day and $266 million per year. The cost to affected individuals can be devastating when they lose their jobs and other opportunities, often resulting in vicious cycles of incarceration, dependency and desperation. Several other states are way ahead of Ohio in adopting a modern non-cash bail program, and a proposal is pending before the Ohio Supreme Court.
Chris will support an aggressive effort to move the Court towards a more just and equitable bail program that doesn't keep people in jail just because they are poor.
The Ohio Constitution has long said that "the right of trial by jury shall be inviolate." This right extends to civil litigants who want and deserve their day in court. For many years, most of our Common Pleas judges' prior work experience has been in the prosecutor's office on criminal cases. Their lack of experience together with busy dockets means that civil cases do not get the attention they deserve, and they are often dismissed before trial, sometimes wrongfully. The Court of Appeals can reverse these wrongful dismissals, but appeals are lengthy and costly, often prohibitively so. Chris has experience with all kinds of civil cases, including complex litigation of national significance.
Chris will respect and protect every Ohioan's right to a trial by jury and make it a priority to ensure that civil cases are given the fair, thorough and rigorous consideration they deserve.