Irrational Collateral Sanctions

22 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2022 Last revised: 7 Apr 2023

See all articles by Michael Zuckerman

Michael Zuckerman

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law; Ohio Justice & Policy Center

Date Written: March 1, 2022


In the modern era, a criminal sentence is rarely truly over just because someone has served their time. Instead, both legal and social barriers continue to haunt most people who have been convicted of crimes for years. These barriers often persist long past the point of making good sense.

While social barriers like stigma are not always easy for lawyers and lawmakers to address, legal barriers like so-called “collateral sanctions” (also known as “collateral consequences”) are their bread-and-butter. In Part I of this Essay, I tell an anonymized client story that illustrates many of the existing efforts to blunt the effects of collateral sanctions in Ohio. In Part II, I discuss in more depth both the problem of collateral sanctions and both the challenges and opportunities posed by existing remedial efforts. In Part III, I discuss the opportunity for rational-basis challenges to irrational collateral sanctions when other remedial opportunities are unavailing.

Keywords: collateral sanctions, collateral consequences, re-entry, constitutional law, due process, mass incarceration

Suggested Citation

Zuckerman, Michael, Irrational Collateral Sanctions (March 1, 2022). 20.1 Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 87 (2022), Ohio State Legal Studies Research Paper No. Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Michael Zuckerman (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Ohio Justice & Policy Center ( email )

215 East Ninth Street, Suite 601
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States

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