Ohio Supreme Court Upholds 134 Year Sentence
The Ohio Supreme Court upheld a 134 year prison term handed down by a Columbus Judge against one of the so-called German Village home invaders. The attorney for the man convicted in the case plans to ask the justices to reconsider.
27-year-old Marquis Hairston was convicted of multiple felonies in connection with a series of home invasion robberies in 2005. Hairston, who had previous convictions, was ordered to serve the sentences for each of the crimes consecutively - bringing the total sentence to 134 years.
Hairston's attorneys argued the sentence was cruel and unusual punishment. But the state's Supreme Court unanimously ruled otherwise. Justice Terrence O'Donnel wrote: Because the individual sentences imposed by the court are within the range of possibilities authorized by the legislature, they are not grossly disproportionate or shocking to a reasonable person or the community's sense of justice.
"I'm very disappointed," Hairston's attorney Toki Clark said.
Clark said she's not spoken with him about the ruling. But she said she plans to ask the justices to reconsider their decision. And she's hopeful they will because three justices "reluctantly" agreed with the judgment.
"And at that time I'll also try to advance to the court additional information that has only recently come to my knowledge, and that pertains to Mr. Hairston being abused as a child," she said.
Clark said Hairston was physically and sexually abused as a child. She said at times her client was "hog tied", which is what he did to one of his victims.
"I'm no psychologist but I think it's something there and I'd like the court to have that information," Clark said.
Clark argued that because none of the victims was seriously hurt, the sentence should have been 20 years.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said he is pleased the justices upheld the sentence.
"But I think the important legal principle the decided and that we urged them to apply to all 88 counties in Ohio was that when someone goes on a crime spree they are legal responsible to be sentenced for every crime they commit. And that there not be some kind of artificial cap that you get free crimes after you commit a certain number of crimes," O'Brien said.
Clark said her client is serving as a martyr.
"The offenses while serious, there was no one being shot, no one was killed, so for the 134 year sentence it's still just very alarming and it shocked the conscience," Clark said. Justice Ann Lanzinger, as well as Chief Justice Thomas Moyer and Justice Paul Pfeifer, were the justices who "reluctantly" agreed with the judgment. Lanzinger called for state lawmakers to adopt new guidelines for consecutive sentences.