Felony Enhancement Bills

Two bills were introduced in Ohio’s House of Representatives this past week we think warrant early mention.

Rep. Jack Cera introduced the first seeking “To increase to 10 years the mandatory prison term for a person who is convicted of a felony and who possessed a firearm while committing the felony, if the person displayed or brandished the firearm, indicated possession of it, or used it to facilitate the felony or if the firearm was an automatic firearm or was equipped with a muffler or silencer.” (HB 505)

The penalty at present is “A prison term of six years if the specification is of the type described in section 2941.144 of the Revised Code that charges the offender with having a firearm that is an automatic firearm or that was equipped with a firearm muffler or silencer on or about the offender's person or under the offender's control while committing the felony;” and “three years if the specification is of the type described in section 2941.145 of the Revised Code that charges the offender with having a firearm on or about the offender's person or under the offender's control while committing the offense and displaying the firearm, brandishing the firearm, indicating that the offender possessed the firearm, or using it to facilitate the offense.”

Rep. James Butler, Jr. introduced a second bill that same day that seeks “To expand the offense of murder to also prohibit causing the death of another as a proximate result of selling the person a controlled substance when the death is caused by an overdose and to provide special life sentences for a violation of the prohibition.” (HB 508)