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Ohio Supreme Court: Sierah's Law can be applied retroactively

The Court rejected challenges by two violent offenders who committed crimes before Sierah's Law took effect, but were sentenced after.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Editor's note: The above video originally aired Dec. 20, 2018, following the passage of Sierah's Law.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the violent offender law, known as "Sierah's Law," can be imposed on people who committed their crimes before the law took effect in 2019.

The court was divided, but the majority ruled the registration requirement in Sierah's Law does not violate the state constitution's prohibition against retroactive laws.

Justice Sharon Kennedy wrote the registration requirement is not an additional punishment or a violation of the constitution.

Justice for Sierah, Inc. describes this as a momentous step forward in protecting families and communities.

"This decision is something we've always wanted and we know it will prove to provide more protection for our communities. Justice for Sierah, Inc. continues working to educate as many people as possible about Sierah's Law, which puts the power in your hands to locate violent offenders within your communities," said Tara Ice, President and Founder of Justice for Sierah, Inc. "We believe families should have as much information as possible to keep our loved ones as safe as possible."

James Worley, a convicted previous violent offender, kidnapped and murdered Sierah Joughin in July of 2016 while she rode her bike in rural Fulton County.

RELATED: Honoring Sierah Joughin's legacy

Worley previously served three years for the kidnapping of Robin Gardner on Obee Road in Whitehouse back in 1990. She escaped when she was able to flag down a motorcyclist. 

Joughin's family worked with previous Ohio State Senator Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) in the creation of Sierah's Law (Senate Bill 231), which is a searchable database of felons in the state convicted of certain violent crimes. It was signed into law in December of 2018.


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