Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fourth District, Jackson
CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM COMMON PLEAS COURT
Timothy Young, Ohio Public Defender, and Terrence K. Scott,
Assistant Public Defender, Columbus, Ohio, for appellant.
King, Special Prosecutor and Assistant Attorney General,
Cincinnati, Ohio, for appellee.
DECISION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY
B. ABELE, JUDGE
1} This is an appeal from a Jackson County Common
Pleas Court post-release control sanction. Stephen I.
Rayburn, defendant below and appellant herein, assigns the
following error for review:
"THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY FAILING TO VACATE STEPHEN I.
RAYBURN'S POST-RELEASE CONTROL. State v.
Billiter, 134 Ohio St.3d 103, 2012-Ohio-5144, 980 N.E.2d
2} On March 28, 2008, after appellant's
convictions for two counts of sexual battery, the trial court
(1) sentenced appellant to serve eight years in prison, and
(2) informed appellant that, after the completion of his
prison sentence, he would be subject to three years of
post-release control. On November 18, 2010, we considered
appellant's pro se delayed appeal and acknowledged that
(1) the trial court incorrectly imposed a three year
post-release control term, rather than a five year term (R.C.
2967.28(B)(1); and (2) the trial court could use the R.C.
2929.191 procedure to correct the post-release control term.
See State v. Rayburn, 4th Dist. Jackson
No. 09CA6, 2010-Ohio-5693.
3} On January 30, 2015, appellant was released from
prison, but without being resentenced. Appellant subsequently
filed a motion for resentencing based upon a void judgment.
The trial court denied appellant's motion and this appeal
4} In his sole assignment of error, appellant
asserts that the trial court should have vacated his
post-release control sanction. Appellant argues that,
although the court correctly orally advised appellant of the
five year post-release control sanction, the court's
sentencing order incorrectly included a three year
post-release control sanction. Furthermore, the court did not
order the R.C. 2967.28(B)(1) statutorily mandated five year
post-release control sanction prior to appellant's
release from custody. Consequently, appellant claims that the
post-release control portion of his sentence is void. See
State v. Grimes, 151 Ohio St.3d 19, 2017-Ohio-2927;
see also State v. Billiter, 134 Ohio St.3d 103,
2012-Ohio-5144, 980 N.E.2d 960; State v. Holdcroft,
137 Ohio St.3d 526, 2013-Ohio-514, 1 N.E.3d 382.
5} In its brief, the appellee concedes that the
trial court erred when it failed to vacate appellant's
post-release control sanction. Appellee states that (1)
appellant's sentencing entry did not include the correct
post-release control sanction, and (2) the court did not
correct its order prior to appellant's release from
prison. Thus, citing State v. Qualls, 131 Ohio St.3d
499, 2012-Ohio-111, appellee agrees that the post-release
control portion of appellant's sentence is void and no
6} We reluctantly agree with both parties that the
post-release control portion of appellant's sentence is
void and no longer correctable. Although we may disagree with
the Ohio Supreme Court's concept of void sentences, we,
as an intermediate appellate court, are obligated to follow
supreme court decisions. We also wish to emphasize that this
case serves as yet another example of Ohio's overly
complex and convoluted felony sentencing scheme. Ohio's
tangled web of sentencing statutes continues to undermine the
public's understanding and confidence in our system.
Issuing a sentence for a felony violation should not be an
intricate, inscrutable exercise that fails to promote the
basic concepts of finality of judgments and judicial economy.
7} Additionally, we wish to point out that we
appreciate appellee's candid and forthright concession in
this matter. The ends of justice are best served when a party
appropriately acknowledges the validity of an opponent's
8} Accordingly, based upon the foregoing reasons, we