Smitherman To Move For Charter Amendment

Written By: Ishton W. Morton – August 12th, 2019

Cincinnati Vice-Mayor Christopher Smitherman

On Monday, August 12th, 2019 on the steps of the Hamilton County Justice Center Preston Fields said he’s reminded of an encounter with a police in Cheviot that he wishes would have never happened.

Also, on Monday, August 12th, 2019 Cincinnati Vice-Mayor Christopher Smitherman said the city’s manager and top prosecutor told his office that “all prosecutions/charges of 100 grams of marijuana or less in the City of Cincinnati will be dismissed immediately.”

Pursuant to Cincinnati New Marijuana Law being implemented, today is an exceedingly historical day in Cincinnati, Ohio. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Also he added, his plans are to move ahead with a charter amendment that will make the city take a proactive approach to expunging certain marijuana convictions.

Expungement (also called “expunction”) is a court-ordered process in which the legal record of an arrest or a criminal conviction is “sealed,” or erased in the eyes of the law.

Also, when a conviction is expunged, the process may be referred to as “setting aside a criminal conviction.”

However, Fields went on to say; “They searched us and found an ounce (of marijuana) on me.” Immediately they put the cuffs on me.”

Fields continued to say, the case against him subjected him to a longer than expected stay in a Hamilton County jail cell.

Ultimately, Fields sat in the Justice Center for approximately two weeks until he was finally released on an O.R. bond and given a later court date.

If you did not know, simply put, an O.R. Bond is given when a criminal suspect is arrested, booked and granted release on their “own recognizance,” or “O.R.,” no bail money is paid to the court and no bond is posted. The suspect is merely released after promising, in writing, to appear in court for all upcoming proceedings.

Judges have nearly absolute discretion when it comes to deciding whether to require bail or release a suspect on his or her OR.

Generally, the same factors that might incline a judge to set low bail may persuade the judge to grant OR release. Thus, factors favoring OR release include a suspect’s good past record, longtime residence in a community, support of family members, and employment.

Nevertheless, at this point Fields was charged with a misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Ironically, Fields was in the running to securing employment with the U.S. Post Office. Because of this case his  chances were screwed forever.

Hopefully, with Cincinnati New marijuana law taking effect there can be some excellent measures redemption for the many who are being hampered by misdemeanor possession(s) of marijuana.

Fields is not alone. He considers himself one of the many people whose lives have collapse as a result of misdemeanor marijuana charge.

City Council Member Jeff Pastor

Fields is enormously jubilant as he applauded the Cincinnati Marijuana Reform Legislation which was crafted by Cincinnati Vice-Mayor Christopher Smitherman and Councilman Jeff Pastor.

Subsequently, in the same statement, Smitherman called the move “real criminal justice reform,” adding it will help residents avoid “having criminal records that unnecessarily impede their ability to get a job.”

Moreover, Fields being extremely enthusiastic said; “It can definitely mess you up if it’s taken the wrong way in the courtroom. All in all, I’d say it’s a good step forward that we’re taking now.”

Meanwhile Twanette Shannon from Avondale being in complete agreement with said; “I think it all should be dismissed. You know, hey, everybody got to be free, someday.”

Read more on what the ordinance means when it comes to law enforcement here.


Author: Ishton W. Morton

Formerly, Ishton W. Morton is an educator and promoter for community advocacy which includes creating programs and services, developing partnerships, and changing public policies, laws, and practices to improve the lifestyle of all people I’m still having an overwhelming desire to provide an Outreach Continuing Education process through this media.