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State v Cook

9-30-1998:

State v Cook

This is a temporary post, commentary to follow. eAdvocate


This court has held that where no vested right has been created, "a later enactment will not burden or attach a new disability to a past transaction or consideration in the constitutional sense, unless the past transaction or consideration * * * created at least a reasonable expectation of finality." State ex rel. Matz v. Brown (1988), 37 Ohio St.3d 279, 281, 525 N.E.2d 805, 807-808. The statute at issue in Matz was R.C. 2743.60(E), which prohibits those who had been convicted of a felony within ten years from collecting a Victims of Crime Compensation award. Matz was a crime victim who would have been eligible to receive a compensation award but for his prior felony conviction. While Matz's felony conviction occurred within the ten preceding years, it occurred before R.C. 2743.60(E) was enacted. We rejected the argument that the statute was retroactive because it attached a new disability to the felony he had committed before the law was enacted. We held that "[e]xcept with regard to constitutional protections against ex post facto laws * * * felons have no reasonable right to expect that their conduct will never thereafter be made the subject of legislation." (Emphasis added.) Id., Matz 37 Ohio St.3d at 281-282, 525 N.E.2d at 808.


Consider: Do felons, or for that matter, anyone with a criminal conviction, have a right to be left alone following completion of their sentence? Yes, they do, and it becomes a question of jurisdiction if the state trys to again bring them under state control.

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