Drafting Contest: An Ohio “Second Look” Statute


About the Project

A robust national discussion about how best to remedy extreme and unwarranted prison sentences has prompted various new proposed remedies. In hopes of encouraging discussion and debate around the creation of a comprehensive “second-look sentencing provision” in Ohio law, the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center (DEPC) at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and the Ohio Justice & Policy Center (OJPC), a statewide criminal-justice nonprofit, sponsored a legislative-drafting contest for law students and recent law school graduates.

About the Contest

The contest asked participants to propose a comprehensive ‘second look’ sentencing provision in Ohio law. According to contest rules, proposals had to include language for a new Ohio statutory provision and accompanying commentary to allow courts to take a second look at Ohio prison sentences. Participants had to address both substance and procedure but could opt whether or not to speak to public health issues that have arisen with COVID-19. Submissions were due June 30, 2020.


Competition Winners

The author of the winning submission received a prize of $2,000. The authors teams each won a runner-up prize of $1,000.

DEPC and OJPC may use the proposals for ongoing efforts to advocate for improvements in Ohio law. The proposals will also be presented to the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission.


Sandeep Dhaliwal, J.D., Columbia Law School



Taylor Lovejoy and Elizabeth Potts, Moritz College of Law


Mariah Daly and Lucian Lungu, J.D., Moritz College of Law


Webinar and Announcement of Winners

Fighting for a Second Look: Efforts in Ohio and Across the Nation
Wednesday, September 2, 2020 | 2-3:00 p.m. EDT

The OJPC and DEPC hosted a webinar to bring together leading advocates to discuss efforts across the country to create second-look provisions, as well as to announce the winner of the second look writing competition.

Shakyra Diaz, managing director of partnerships/Ohio state director, Alliance for Safety and Justice
William Johnston, senior program officer, Open Society Foundations
Nicole D. Porter, director of advocacy, The Sentencing Project
Michael Serota, associate deputy director, Academy for Justice, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
David Singleton, executive director, Ohio Justice & Policy Center

Douglas A. Berman, executive director, Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law


Questions can be directed to Jana Hrdinova at hrdinova.1(at)osu.edu or Michael Zuckerman at mzuckerman(at)ohiojpc.org.