Does Postrelease Control Sentencing Error Allow Defendant to Pursue New Direct Appeal of Conviction?
Where Original Sentence Is Void Under 2007 'Bezak' Decision
State of Ohio v. Londen K. Fischer, Case no. 2009-0897
9th District Court of Appeals (Summit County)
ISSUE: In July 2007, the Supreme Court of Ohio ruled in State v. Bezak that if a trial court failed to properly impose a term of postrelease control at the time a criminal defendant was sentenced, the defendant's sentence is void and the court must conduct a new sentencing hearing at which the defendant must receive a new sentence that includes a properly imposed term of postrelease control. In this case, the Court is asked to determine whether an offender who is entitled to be resentenced under Bezak is also entitled to pursue a new direct appeal of his convictions, on the basis that any prior appellate review of his case was invalid because the trial court's original judgment of conviction did not include a lawful sentence.