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