On Friday, Gov. John Kasich signed part of the Reagan Tokes Act into law. The act is named after OSU student Reagan Tokes, who was robbed, raped and murdered in February 2017 by Brian Golsby. Her murder caused outrage among Ohioans due to the many systemic failures that led to it. One of those failures was that, due to a plea bargain, the killer had served only six years in prison for raping a pregnant woman in front of her 2-year-old child.
During his time in prison, he had 52 infractions for acts such as fighting, creating disturbances and stealing. His behavior was so bad that he had to be sent to five different prisons during his sentence. Because of Ohio’s truth-in-sentencing laws, he could not be kept in prison longer than his initial six-year sentence for his bad behavior. He was therefore released in 2016 and came across Tokes that fateful night three months later.
The part of the Reagan Tokes Act that was signed into law will allow for incarcerated criminals who are responsible for Class 1 and 2 felonies (the most severe classes) to have their sentences increased by up to 50 percent if they behave badly. A criminal's bad behavior in prison shows that he is dangerous.
If criminals can be given more time and kept in prison longer they won't be able to commit as many crimes. If kept in prison long enough, they may not commit any more crimes at all once released, as people reduce criminal behavior with age. The Reagan Tokes Act can save lives.
Lara Gingerich, Columbus