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Victim of the Times

Updated on September 2, 2018
Vista15 profile image

'I wear it (black) for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime But still is there because he's a victim of the times.'

Unfair Law is a crime. Ohio has 2 sentencing laws, creating victims of Old Law, making a mockery of the intentions of judges in earlier sentencing. New Law get half the time for the same crime.

Johnny Earwood and Tiana Dreymor
Johnny Earwood and Tiana Dreymor | Source

Ohioans In Black

In 1971 Johnny Cash wrote and sang the song 'Man in Black' about why he wore black. Part of the lyrics say:

'I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime

But still is there because he's a victim of the times.'

In 1996 the state of Ohio changed their sentencing laws, giving new offenders a 'stated sentence', in other words, once they do the time they are released, without parole. In doing so, they created 'Victims of the Times', the OLD LAW prisoners.

Old law prisoners are being 'turned over' by the Parole Board, essentially being re-sentenced. Why are they doing this? Because once the OLD TIMERS are released there will be no need for a Parole Board.

According to David J. Diroll, retired Director of the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission, 'SB 2 ended the Board's release authority over most new inmates. Some contend that the Board -- consciously or unconscioulsy -- started giving longer "flops" to stay in business.'

Let me clarify... that means New Law does NOT see the Parole Board. They are RELEASED when their time is up.

He also said, 'In practice, Pre-SB 2, "6 -25" never meant 25 and often didn't mean 6, since parole eligibility came after about 4 years.'

John, my fiancé`, was sentenced "20 - life", so comparatively, John's sentence never meant LIFE, and though he was eligible for parole at 14, he was flopped 10, bringing him 4 years OVER the 20 of "20 - life", and STILL the Parole Board gives him 6 MORE YEARS. That is 16 years the Parole Board has re-sentenced him to.

I formed Ohioans In Black, to change the Old Law to bring it in line with the New Law, and attain release for prisoners who have done their time, have a good prison record, but have been repeatedly denied parole.

Under the New Law (SB 2) another man doing the same crime would walk out with no parole in 20 years, regardless of his prison record. The stated sentence. Flat time. They 'max out'.

Diroll also pointed out (under Old Law) 'The inmates actual time served was not determined by the elected judge in a public forum, but by the Parole Board -- an unelected body -- meeting in private.'

We should be OUTRAGED by this.

'It is not justice to hand down disparate prison sentences for materially similar crimes. It is not justice to continue our adherence to a sentencing scheme that disproportionately affects some Americans, and some communities, more severely than others. Our goal is simple: to ensure that our sentencing system is tough and predictable, but also fair.' Attorney General Eric Holder, in a speech July 13, 2009 to the NAACP.

Even President Obama stated, in a speech July 16, 2009 to the NAACP, 'Unjust laws need to be overturned.'

It's about...TIME

At a time when Ohio houses 51,154 prisoners in facilities designed to hold 38,665, with the questionable solution to the budget crisis, and the cutting back of necessary programs, why hasn't someone figured out how much those Old Law prisoners, let alone the salaries of the Parole Board, is costing us?

There are approximately 5000 Old Law prisoners subject to Parole Board discretionary powers. and most of them are deemed MODEL prisoners by the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, so why are we paying $25,000 a year for their keep? And Ohio has an 8 Billion Dollar budget defecit. Think about it!!

Unfair Law is a crime. Ohio has 2 sentencing laws, creating victims of Old Law, making a mockery of the intentions of judges in earlier sentencing. New Law get HALF the time for the SAME crime!

Prison Reform Rally - April 7, 2012

That's me with the green sign over to the left.
That's me with the green sign over to the left.

Did you know? The Parole Board was origionally established to get prisoners OUT of prison!

Tiana Dreymor

Cash Said It ALL

A Sickening Update

John has been re-sentenced (illegally) by the Parole Board (January 22, 2015), to 84 MONTHS MORE!

2017 - New Year - Old Love

2018... Maybe Help Is On The Way.

Rally - September 7, 2018

Still hoping to win a repeal of the Old Law...

© 2013 Tiana Dreymor


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    • Vista15 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tiana Dreymor 

      7 years ago from Columbus, OH

      I wish it was that easy. I have been involved with John for 20 years, come Nov. 2. (We call it our anniversary.) First it took me 5 years to begin to understand the 'system'. To begin with he was coerced into pleading guilty with threats of the death penalty and promises of getting him off with 9 months... now 29 years later??? I have been literally stopped in my tracks. I had a senator in my corner, but his term ran out in 2010 and that was pretty much the end of it. I keep believing there is an under-current that is going to get him out before his next parole hearing (2015), but have no real idea what it is. Thanks for your input!

    • Easy Exercise profile image

      Kelly A Burnett 

      7 years ago from United States

      Vista15, We need citizens who are questioning our laws and seeking to make a change. Our government and our laws are our responsibility. We must stop with making it someone else's problem and take a stand for what is right and just and good for society.

      One of the classes I hate was Sociology yet that course opened my mind to seeing the big picture of how we must make decisions to help all of us. Unjust laws must be exposed and changed. Thank you for being that change agent.


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