Eliminating sex discrimination through research, education and legal activities
Disability Rights Ohio files joint “friend of the court” brief in support of combat veteran Disability Rights Ohio web site
Disability Rights Ohio jointly filed an amicus brief in support of a combat veteran appealing his case before the Ohio Supreme Court. His attorneys argued that the court did not properly consider how military service and combat can affect people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They contend his actions were tied to his PTSD and that his experiences in Iraq worsened his pre-existing substance abuse and led him to attempt “suicide by cop.”
Disability Rights Ohio attorney Kristen Henry collaborated with the counsel for the defendant and other amicus organizations on defense strategy and other issues and was invited to sit at the counsel table at the Ohio Supreme Court hearing (video).
The defendant is appealing a 27-year sentence for two counts of aggravated assault, including seven years for using a gun to commit the crimes, in exchange for the prosecution dropping two counts of attempted aggravated murder.
Other organizations signing on to the brief include Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, National Disability Rights Network, National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio and Ohio Empowerment Coalition. An amicus curiae brief is additional information submitted to the court by interested, but non-related parties who have some knowledge or perspective that make their views valuable to the court.
The decision by the Ohio Supreme Court will help determine how courts should decide sentencing in future cases involving combat veterans where there is evidence of service-related disabilities, including post-traumatic stress disorder. No immediate decision is expected.
Cleveland Plain Dealer article: Ohio Supreme Court case focuses on what impact military-related disabilities should have on sentencing
Read the brief: Merit Brief of Amici Curiae (PDF)