For the second time in two years, Ohio’s parole board has acquiesced to court rulings by scheduling new parole hearings for thousands of inmates, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The state yesterday released a list of 2,678 prisoners who will receive hearings after two courts found that the board had not fully complied with a 2002 Ohio Supreme Court decision.
A board spokeswoman said she had no estimate on the number of inmates who might be released. However, after the 2002 court ruling, the board held 2,504 parole hearings, freeing 1,474 inmates (59 percent). The board is trying to comply with court orders that require “meaningful” hearings to inmates who were convicted before the 1996 passage of Ohio’s truth-in-sentencing law. A lawsuit had been filed on behalf of inmates who pleaded guilty to reduced charges and were improperly placed by the board in higher sentencing-guideline categories based on their indicted offenses. The new list includes inmates who were convicted at trials.