Some legislators in Ohio and other states avoid raising taxes by increasing court-related fines and fees. According to some advocacy groups and concerned lawmakers, such actions are unintentionally punishing indigent offenders who can't afford such payments. In some instances, poor defendants unable to pay end up in local jails for lengthy stays before having their day in court. Others are placed on probation for long periods until their court debts can be paid.
Black and white Americans in Ohio and around the country tend to have differing opinions about various facets of the criminal justice system. For instance, black Americans are more likely to believe that minorities have a greater chance of being sentenced to death for murder than white Americans. They also have a less favorable attitude toward police as well as greater concerns about crime both nationally and in the own communities.
More aggressive policing policies in Ohio and around the country have led to a significant increase in the number of young people being arrested. This was the conclusion reached by researchers from the RAND Corporation after studying information compiled over several decades from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The data suggests that Americans between the ages of 26 and 35 today are 3.6 times more likely to have been taken into custody by police than those who are older than 66.
In some cases, defendants in Ohio and around the country are allowed to wear GPS bracelets as opposed to spending time in jail. However, there are limits to how free a person can be when wearing such a device. For example, a person can be sent back to jail or prison if the device is removed. This may be true even if it is removed to have an X-ray or MRI performed.
Some black defendants might be more likely to go to jail while awaiting a court hearing in Ohio or in other states compared to white defendants. This was the conclusion of a study that will appear in The Quarterly Journal of Economics.
The Fourth Amendment provides protection against unreasonable search and seizure, but police officers in Ohio and around the country are permitted to conduct warrantless searches in certain situations. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1925 that police could search a motor vehicle without first obtaining a search warrant provided they have probable cause to believe that evidence of criminal activity will be discovered. The nation's highest court issued another ruling on May 29 that clarified the scope of this exception.
Getting pulled over by the police isn’t completely unavoidable. However, a police officer can’t just pull you over on a whim. They need to have a reasonable reason—known as probable cause— to stop your car.