130th Ohio General Assembly
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(Substitute Senate Bill Number 20)



AN ACT
To amend sections 2901.11 and 2901.12 of the Revised Code to clarify the application of the state's criminal jurisdiction statute to offenses committed in a jurisdiction other than Ohio that result from a conspiracy, an attempt, or complicity to commit the offense that occurs in Ohio; to clarify the application of that statute in homicide cases; to clarify that Ohio criminal specifications are applicable to persons who commit an offense in a jurisdiction other than Ohio but are subject to Ohio criminal jurisdiction; and to make other related changes to the state's criminal jurisdiction and venue statutes.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1.  That sections 2901.11 and 2901.12 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 2901.11.  (A) A person is subject to criminal prosecution and punishment in this state if any of the following occur:

(1) The person commits an offense under the laws of this state, any element of which takes place in this state.

(2) While in this state, the person conspires or attempts to commit, or is guilty of complicity in the commission of, an offense in another jurisdiction, which offense is an offense under both the laws of this state and the other jurisdiction, or, while in this state, the person conspires to commit an offense in another jurisdiction, which offense is an offense under both the laws of this state and the other jurisdiction, and a substantial overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy is undertaken in this state by the person or another person involved in the conspiracy, subsequent to the person's entrance into the conspiracy. In any case in which a person attempts to commit, is guilty of complicity in the commission of, or conspires to commit an offense in another jurisdiction as described in this division, the person is subject to criminal prosecution and punishment in this state for the attempt, complicity, or conspiracy, and for any resulting offense that is committed or completed in the other jurisdiction.

(3) While out of this state, the person conspires or attempts to commit, or is guilty of complicity in the commission of, an offense in this state.

(4) While out of this state, the person omits to perform a legal duty imposed by the laws of this state, which omission affects a legitimate interest of the state in protecting, governing, or regulating any person, property, thing, transaction, or activity in this state.

(5) While out of this state, the person unlawfully takes or retains property and subsequently brings any of the unlawfully taken or retained property into this state.

(6) While out of this state, the person unlawfully takes or entices another and subsequently brings the other person into this state.

(7) The person, by means of a computer, computer system, computer network, telecommunication, telecommunications device, telecommunications service, or information service, causes or knowingly permits any writing, data, image, or other telecommunication to be disseminated or transmitted into this state in violation of the law of this state.

(B) In homicide, the element referred to in division (A)(1) of this section is either includes the act that causes death, or the physical contact that causes death, or the death itself, or any other element that is set forth in the offense in question. If any part of the body of a homicide victim is found in this state, the death is presumed to have occurred within this state.

(C)(1) This state includes the land and water within its boundaries and the air space above that land and water, with respect to which this state has either exclusive or concurrent legislative jurisdiction. Where the boundary between this state and another state or foreign country is disputed, the disputed territory is conclusively presumed to be within this state for purposes of this section.

(2) The courts of common pleas of Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Clermont, Columbiana, Gallia, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Scioto, and Washington counties have jurisdiction beyond the north or northwest shore of the Ohio river extending to the opposite shore line, between the extended boundary lines of any adjacent counties or adjacent state. Each of those courts of common pleas has concurrent jurisdiction on the Ohio river with any adjacent court of common pleas that borders on that river and with any court of Kentucky or of West Virginia that borders on the Ohio river and that has jurisdiction on the Ohio river under the law of Kentucky or the law of West Virginia, whichever is applicable, or under federal law.

(D) When an offense is committed under the laws of this state, and it appears beyond a reasonable doubt that the offense or any element of the offense took place either in this state or in another jurisdiction or jurisdictions, but it cannot reasonably be determined in which it took place, the offense or element is conclusively presumed to have taken place in this state for purposes of this section.

(E) When a person is subject to criminal prosecution and punishment in this state for an offense committed or completed outside of this state, the person is subject to all specifications for that offense that would be applicable if the offense had been committed within this state.

(F) Any act, conduct, or element that is a basis of a person being subject under this section to criminal prosecution and punishment in this state need not be committed personally by the person as long as it is committed by another person who is in complicity or conspiracy with the person.

(G) This section shall be liberally construed, consistent with constitutional limitations, to allow this state the broadest possible jurisdiction over offenses and persons committing offenses in, or affecting, this state.

(H) For purposes of division (A)(2) of this section, an overt act is substantial when it is of a character that manifests a purpose on the part of the actor that the object of the conspiracy should be completed.

(I) As used in this section, "computer," "computer system," "computer network," "information service," "telecommunication," "telecommunications device," "telecommunications service," "data," and "writing" have the same meanings as in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 2901.12.  (A) The trial of a criminal case in this state shall be held in a court having jurisdiction of the subject matter, and in the territory of which the offense or any element of the offense was committed.

(B) When the offense or any element of the offense was committed in an aircraft, motor vehicle, train, watercraft, or other vehicle, in transit, and it cannot reasonably be determined in which jurisdiction the offense was committed, the offender may be tried in any jurisdiction through which the aircraft, motor vehicle, train, watercraft, or other vehicle passed.

(C) When the offense involved the unlawful taking or receiving of property or the unlawful taking or enticing of another, the offender may be tried in any jurisdiction from which or into which the property or victim was taken, received, or enticed.

(D) When the offense is conspiracy, attempt, or complicity cognizable under division (A)(2) of section 2901.11 of the Revised Code, the offender may be tried in any jurisdiction in which the conspiracy, attempt, complicity, or any of its elements occurred. If an offense resulted outside this state from the conspiracy, attempt, or complicity, that resulting offense also may be tried in any jurisdiction in which the conspiracy, attempt, complicity, or any of the elements of the conspiracy, attempt, or complicity occurred.

(E) When the offense is conspiracy or attempt cognizable under division (A)(3) of section 2901.11 of the Revised Code, the offender may be tried in any jurisdiction in which the offense that was the object of the conspiracy or attempt, or any element of that offense, was intended to or could have taken place. When the offense is complicity cognizable under division (A)(3) of section 2901.11 of the Revised Code, the offender may be tried in any jurisdiction in which the principal offender may be tried.

(F) When an offense is considered to have been committed in this state while the offender was out of this state, and the jurisdiction in this state in which the offense or any material element of the offense was committed is not reasonably ascertainable, the offender may be tried in any jurisdiction in which the offense or element reasonably could have been committed.

(G) When it appears beyond a reasonable doubt that an offense or any element of an offense was committed in any of two or more jurisdictions, but it cannot reasonably be determined in which jurisdiction the offense or element was committed, the offender may be tried in any of those jurisdictions.

(H) When an offender, as part of a course of criminal conduct, commits offenses in different jurisdictions, the offender may be tried for all of those offenses in any jurisdiction in which one of those offenses or any element of one of those offenses occurred. Without limitation on the evidence that may be used to establish the course of criminal conduct, any of the following is prima-facie evidence of a course of criminal conduct:

(1) The offenses involved the same victim, or victims of the same type or from the same group.

(2) The offenses were committed by the offender in the offender's same employment, or capacity, or relationship to another.

(3) The offenses were committed as part of the same transaction or chain of events, or in furtherance of the same purpose or objective.

(4) The offenses were committed in furtherance of the same conspiracy.

(5) The offenses involved the same or a similar modus operandi.

(6) The offenses were committed along the offender's line of travel in this state, regardless of the offender's point of origin or destination.

(I)(1) When the offense involves a computer, computer system, computer network, telecommunication, telecommunications device, telecommunications service, or information service, the offender may be tried in any jurisdiction containing any location of the computer, computer system, or computer network of the victim of the offense, in any jurisdiction from which or into which, as part of the offense, any writing, data, or image is disseminated or transmitted by means of a computer, computer system, computer network, telecommunication, telecommunications device, telecommunications service, or information service, or in any jurisdiction in which the alleged offender commits any activity that is an essential part of the offense.

(2) As used in this section, "computer," "computer system," "computer network," "information service," "telecommunication," "telecommunications device," "telecommunications service," "data," and "writing" have the same meanings as in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code.

(J) When the offense involves the death of a person, and it cannot reasonably be determined in which jurisdiction the offense was committed, the offender may be tried in the jurisdiction in which the dead person's body or any part of the dead person's body was found.

(K) Notwithstanding any other requirement for the place of trial, venue may be changed, upon motion of the prosecution, the defense, or the court, to any court having jurisdiction of the subject matter outside the county in which trial otherwise would be held, when it appears that a fair and impartial trial cannot be held in the jurisdiction in which trial otherwise would be held, or when it appears that trial should be held in another jurisdiction for the convenience of the parties and in the interests of justice.

SECTION 2. That existing sections 2901.11 and 2901.12 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

SECTION 3. The General Assembly hereby declares that it intends by the amendments made by Sections 1 and 2 of this act to prospectively overrule the decision of the Ohio Supreme Court in State v. Yarbrough (2004), 104 Ohio St. 3d 1.

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