COLUMBUS— A bill requiring crime victims and their families to be notified when their offender is up for parole or early release was signed into law by Ohio Governor John Kasich today. Senate Bill 160 was sponsored by State Senators Kevin Bacon and Jim Hughes (R- Columbus).

Bacon and Hughes introduced the bill after learning of the story of Roberta Francis, who was 15 years old when she was raped and murdered in 1974. Although her killer was sentenced to life in prison, he was released after serving only 30 years of his sentence. Francis’ family did not receive any notice that her killer was to go before the parole board, and found out about his release by reading it in the local newspaper. Roberta’s father was present at today’s bill signing.

Under Senate Bill 160, the mandatory notification system will ensure victims and their families are automatically notified when parole hearings are scheduled for the offenders whom committed crimes against them. Victims can also choose to opt-out of receiving notification.

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