Ohio Supreme Court rules that a governor's pardon does not automatically seal records of the crime

From The Plain Dealer The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a person granted a pardon by the governor is not automatically entitled to have the records of their crime and conviction sealed from public view.

Rather, absent requirements in Ohio’s law that it be granted automatically, it should be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine if it is appropriate, the court ruled.

The case involved a woman from Cleveland, Montoya Boykin, who had multiple convictions for theft and receiving stolen property from the early and mid-1990s.

In 2007, Boykin requested a pardon for her crimes. The state’s parole board voted unanimously to recommend clemency, and in November 2009 then-Gov. Ted Strickland pardoned Boykin for four crimes.

Following the pardon, Boykin sought to have her convictions sealed in Summit County Common Pleas Court and in Akron Municipal Court. She argued that the governor’s pardon entitles her to have her records in these cases sealed.

Both courts denied her motions, as did the 9th Ohio District Court of Appeals. She then appealed to the Supreme Court.

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