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Judges in Ohio would be required to consider criminal suspects’ threat to public safety when setting bail amounts under both legislation and a proposal for a state constitutional amendment that House Republicans were expected to approve Wednesday.

The GOP proposals followed a ruling by a divided Ohio Supreme Court earlier this year that said a $1.5 million bond for a Cincinnati man accused of fatally shooting a man during a robbery was too high.

The Supreme Court majority said safety concerns expressed by the victim’s family members, and evidence that the suspect presented a false ID when confronted after fleeing to Las Vegas, weren’t factors relevant to the amount of bail.

The court did say that public safety concerns could be met by other requirements, such as electronic monitoring, which was done in the case of the Cincinnati murder suspect, according to court records. He was also banned from contacting the victim’s family.

The proposals come at a time of a debate in Ohio and nationally over changes to bail systems. Opponents of cash bail have long argued its use should be reduced or eliminated to avoid the hardship it presents to defendants who can’t afford to pay even low amounts, and end up losing jobs and contact with family while they remain in jail before their case is resolved.

In Ohio, separate legislation still in the committee process would eliminate the presumption that cash bail is the first recourse of a judge when setting terms of release. Supporters of this bipartisan measure, which include several conservative groups, say it gives judges more discretion to keep dangerous offenders behind bars while awaiting trial, while creating a fairer release system for offenders who don’t pose a risk.

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