Bill Aims To Boost Penalties For Repeat Violent Criminals

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Ohio lawmakers are targeting violent crime with a new bill that would increase prison time for repeat offenders.

The legislation would increase mandatory prison time associated with a third offense for those convicted of at least two violent crimes. Offenders could get two to 11 years more prison time for those additional offenses. The bill also increases sentences by an additional 50 percent for gun-related crimes committed by violent career criminals.

The bill would label those who have committed two or more violent felonies as “violent career criminals.”

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine issued his support for the bill Friday.

“I look at this, frankly, as part of our evolving, continuous effort in the state of Ohio to target this small number of people – these people who have demonstrated they cannot live among us,” DeWine said.

DeWine’s office issued a report in 2012 indicating the majority of violent offenses – 57 percent – are committed by these violent career criminals.

Data from the report show 56 percent of violent felony convictions in Ohio from 1974 to 2010 occurred in just four counties. Eighty-three percent came from 12 counties, none of them in Southeast Ohio.