State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today announced the legislature’s Dec. 13 approval of House Bill (HB) 411, her bipartisan legislation to streamline access to justice for victims of wrongful imprisonment in Ohio.
“Protecting the rights and freedom of our citizens is my top priority, and when those rights are violated we have a responsibility to take action,” said Sykes. “Thanks to this bipartisan effort, Ohioans who have been wrongfully imprisoned will soon have a better path forward to reclaim their lives and receive the justice they deserve.”
Currently, only those wrongfully imprisoned on felony or aggravated felony charges are eligible to bring wrongful imprisonment claims against the state, but HB 411 expands that right to people wrongfully imprisoned on misdemeanor charges. The bill also sets a one-year time limit on plaintiff appeals and provides justice to people wrongfully imprisoned based on procedural errors or if no actual law was broken.
After passing the House and the Senate, the bill is expected to become law 90 days after Gov. Kasich’s anticipated signature.