Archive for 2013

Ohio Supreme Court to hear payday loan case

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On December 10, the Ohio Supreme Court will hear a case concerning short term, high interest loans known as payday loans. The focus of the case is the breadth of the Short-Term Loan Act, which limits how much lenders can charge.

Payday loans are prevalent throughout the state. Some consider these loans to be usurious and a debt trap for low income workers. Lenders say they are merely filling a market need.

Much is at stake. A court brief filed on behalf ...

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Challenge to same-sex marriage law in Pennsylvania

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A Pennsylvania law that bans same-sex marriage is being challenged in federal court. The case recently survived a motion to dismiss, meaning the case is headed for trial.

As a minister once said when addressing the issue, let’s not confuse “rites with rights.”  When gays are denied the right to marry, it’s done on moral grounds and beliefs about religious “rites.”  Like it or not, people judge others based on religious beliefs and morals. Doing so may not be a good ...

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Is there evidence to support Ohio’s proposed “stand your ground law?”

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Ohio House Bill 203, which proposes a “stand your ground law,” passed the house two days ago. The bill changes Ohio’s self-defense law such that anyone facing bodily harm, so long as he is in a place he is lawfully allowed to be, has no duty to retreat before using deadly force in his defense.  The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Terry Johnson, R-McDermott, believes that the bill will save lives.

I don’t know if Johnson is right or wrong, but here’s something ...

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Should teachers carry guns?

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A Columbus, Ohio, teacher has suggested in a letter to the editor that teachers who have a concealed carry license be permitted to carry their firearms in the classroom. He proposes the idea to help make “school buildings safer.” With so many mass shootings nationwide, it’s easy to understand why the idea is raised, but the idea necessarily leads to the question, how effective will teachers be in a gunfight?

To get a sense for the blur of thoughts and distorted ...

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The Ohio State Bar Association should take a lesson from our chief justice

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The Ohio State Bar Association has long supported the idea of merit appointment/retention elections for judges but has done little to actually promote the idea since the failed referendum in 1987. I don’t understand the value in the OSBA voicing support for merit appointment when our association does not actively work to achieve it.

In contrast, Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor of the Ohio Supreme Court is aggressively pursuing her idea of changing the format for judicial elections. She proposed her ideas ...

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Food stamps create dependency says Rep. Bob Gibbs

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Yesterday, The Columbus Dispatch published a story about a significant cut in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps.  The cut will mean about $193 million less in food stamps during the next nine months for Ohioans.  According to the Children’s Hunger Alliance, about one out of six kids are already going hungry in Ohio.

Here’s how Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville, views the situation: “How long do you keep doing these things?  If you keep doing these things, ...

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Morality aside, death penalty far more costly than life terms

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Morality aside, death penalty far more costly than life terms. In the 2005, jurors in FranklinCounty, Ohio, were asked 4 times whether the death penalty should be imposed. On Sept. 27, convicted killer Herman Ashworth was executed for a murder he committed in Newark.

The morality of the death penalty is a subject of debate, but maybe there is a better question to ask: Is the death penalty cost-efficient? Few in-depth cost studies have been done on this, but most information suggests that ...

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All of society pays a price for adherence to death penalty

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It’s déjà vu all over again.  Romell Broom, convicted of murdering 14 year-old Tryna Middleton in 1984, is appealing his death warrant.  Because he was already subjected to one botched attempt at lethal injection, his lawyers argue that a second attempt would violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

On December 8, 2009, Kenneth Biros was executed with a new drug, used for the first time in Ohio. Prior to his execution, his lawyers argued unsuccessfully before the ...

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Save millions by killing Ohio’s death penalty

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How many Ohio businesses run their operations with little regard for the expenditure of time and money? Ohio ignores both every time it sends an inmate to death row.

Richard Beasley, the so-called Craigslist killer, was sentenced to death on April 4, 2013, for murdering three men. Based on the average stay on death row for Ohio inmates, if Beasley is executed, his execution date could be as far off as November of 2032. Gauging from his physical appearance, he may ...

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Get fair pricing back in health care

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Health care in America is a mess, and the presidential candidates offer a variety of ways to fix the problem, but they all seem to leave out one thing: putting consumers back in charge of making their own decisions about medical care. Right now, in large part it is the medical insurers who control health care.

In conversations with family practitioners, I have learned two things. The first is that reimbursement rates for their services have stayed the same for the ...

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