By Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that state courts are not required to impose back-to-back prison terms for certain felonies.
A county judge had contended that was so in a southwest Ohio rape case. At issue were the four life sentences imposed on Kevin Johnson, who was indicted by a Butler County grand jury on four counts of rape in August 2005. A trial jury found him guilty on all four, and the trial judge contended that he had no choice but to impose the sentences consecutively.
That made Johnson ineligible for parole. He appealed, saying he should have been allowed to serve the sentences at the same time.
The Supreme Court today agreed, based on its reading of the law.