Senate District 32
Sean J. O'Brien
Reagan Tokes Law Passes Ohio Senate
April 11, 2018
State Senator Sean J. O’Brien (D-Bazetta) announced today the passage of one of two Senate bills which make up the “Reagan Tokes Act.” Senate Bill 201, sponsored jointly with Senator Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park), changes sentencing laws to improve the rehabilitation of violent offenders and increase public safety.

SB 201 adds indefinite sentences to first-, second- and third-degree felonies, incentivizing good behavior in prison and decreasing the chances that violent criminals are released before their complete rehabilitation.

“The murder of Reagan Tokes was a tragedy that could have been prevented had the court had the ability to take into consideration the offender’s numerous infractions while in prison and his overall state of rehabilitation,” said Sen. O’Brien. “As a former assistant Trumbull County prosecutor, I place great importance on ensuring that offenders do not offend again once they are released. It’s important that we pass this legislation to stop tragedies like this from ever happening again.”

Ms. Tokes was abducted, assaulted and murdered in Columbus on February 8, 2017. The perpetrator had recently been released on parole from prison and was supposedly being monitored via a GPS-equipped ankle bracelet. Questions were raised as to whether he was sufficiently rehabilitated to re-enter society when it was revealed that while serving his previous six-year sentence for armed robbery and rape, he had committed over 50 behavioral infractions and had been transferred to five different institutions.

SB 201 will now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The second bill included in the Reagan Tokes Act, SB 202, would reform GPS monitoring procedures and post-release controls to ensure that, once released, the actions and movements of offenders are monitored more closely. SB 202 is currently pending in Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee.
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