Ohio Lawmakers Approve Sweeping Criminal Justice Law Changes
The bill impacts prisoners, cell phone usage and education standards
A sweeping criminal justice bill passed early Thursday by the Ohio Legislature would let inmates earn more time off prison sentences; make it easier to keep some criminal records out of the public eye; and allow people to be stopped by police solely for holding or using a cellphone while driving.
The bill, which received bipartisan support, also would decriminalize fentanyl test strips; make strangulation a separate offense; outlaw fertility fraud by doctors; and mandate age-appropriate education about child sexual abuse prevention in schools, among other changes.
It would prohibit drivers from “using, holding or physically supporting” a cell phone, with some exceptions, such as if they are stopped at a red light, using a speakerphone function without holding the phone, or holding phones to their ears for calls but not using texting or typing functions.
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