When a person is convicted of a crime the law establishes the debt to society that is owed. That price is not static. It changes according to the ebbs and flows of social conscience. One thing that remains constant through the changes, however, is the idea that one person should not suffer a greater penalty than someone else convicted under the same law.
When discrepancies in how the courts apply the law are discovered, they deserve to be brought to light and corrected. But waging such battles isn't something most individuals are equipped to handle. The skills of an experienced attorney are called for to be sure that the rights of every individual are defended to the greatest extent possible.
To see just how nuanced such matters can be, take the case of an Ohio prison inmate currently serving an 18-year term for several sex crime charge convictions. As a result of a recent appeals court decision, this man stands the chance of seeing the sentence he received in connection with another case eased.
These are the details of the case as reported by the media. The 40-year-old man had been accused of felony charges in connection with a sex crime against a child that allegedly took place 11 years ago. He eventually pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of sexual battery.
Last October, he was sentenced to 60 months, to run consecutive to his current sentence. That meant the term wouldn't start until his current 18-year term is completed. The court also ordered that he be classified as a sex offender.
The defendant appealed the sentence arguing that the consecutive timing of the term and the sex offender designation applied by the court were not allowed for by the laws under which he was charged and pleaded guilty. The appeals court agreed and ordered the lower court to correct the sentence so that there is no sex offender designation and the 60-month term runs concurrently with the time the man is serving now.
Source: The Van Wert Independent, "Appeals Court reverses man’s conviction," Dave Mosier, May 8, 2014