Being smart on crime

Published 10:32 am Thursday, October 15, 2015

No one wants to be soft on crime. We all want to feel safe in our homes and as we go about our daily routine. But with increasing drug use, crime is escalating. So we all have a vested interest in how effective the tools our law enforcement agencies have to protect us.

However, the question has to be addressed: Is there a time when we as a society are too tough on crime. This is the focus of a current debate at the state level because for the past six months Ohio legislators have introduced 54 bills that focus on what actions should now be defined as criminal and the punishments for them.

However three organizations are teaming up to ask the legislators to halt this rush to introduce these kinds of bills. Ironically, these groups are normally not ones who typically form an alliance: the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, Ohio’s public defenders office and the Buckeye Institute, a conservative think tank.

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They rightly believe that the Ohio Criminal Justice Recodification Committee should be allowed to do its job of going over the criminal code to see if there are redundancies and bringing to light laws that no longer serve our society.

The 24-member committee has a deadline of August 2016 to do this important work. It’s ridiculous to thwart this work.

State Senate President Keith Faber said it best: It is not a matter of being soft or tough on crime. It’s about being smart.