- Associated Press - Monday, March 24, 2014

Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:

The (Toledo) Blade, March 24

Community leaders in Columbus recently urged state senators and Gov. John Kasich to reject a dangerous, unnecessary bill that would exponentially expand the circumstances in which a person has no duty to retreat before using lethal force. They were joined by Lucia McBath, whose unarmed son Jordan Davis, 17, was shot and killed at a Florida gas station after a dispute over loud music.

House Bill 203, Ohio’s version of “stand your ground” legislation, has cleared the House. Now before the Ohio Senate, this bill should not reach Mr. Kasich’s desk.

The measure would almost surely encourage gun violence - something Ohio and its cities don’t need - and lead to more needless deaths. Nor would the bill strengthen legitimate rights to self-defense.

Ohio law already states that people need not retreat in their residence or vehicle, or the vehicle of an immediate family member. Those provisions are ample, including areas of personal domain to which U.S. legal tradition and the “castle doctrine” have extended special protections. Among other things, the House bill would extend immunities to anywhere a person has a legal right to be - an invitation to violence and vigilantism….

Existing laws protect the personal space that society generally considers inviolable. Extending those protections to virtually anywhere just invites violence.

Online: http://bit.ly/1lgg3Gr

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The Marietta Times, March 23

New regulations for local jails in Ohio are an improvement over the old rules in some respects. State officials should stand ready to refine some vague terminology, however - and to ensure jails operate by the book.

A committee of state legislators approved the new rules (last) week. The last update was more than 10 years ago.

Some amendments in requirements for jails were in reaction to local officials complaints the old standards were unrealistic and unnecessarily expensive. For example, the updated rules allow jails to serve prisoners just two meals a day on weekends, rather than the three mandated on weekdays. Inmates now must be allowed to take showers just once every 48 hours.

Medical treatment specifications also have been improved, in part because of suggestions by mental health organizations….

Most important for state officials is ensuring the rules are followed. There are just two state-level inspectors for the 349 jails in Ohio - far below the number needed.

Story Continues →