Supreme Court right in reversal

Ohio Supreme Court justices did something exceedingly unusual this week: They admitted they were wrong just a few months ago.

Late last year, a case involving a man convicted of buying more than 100 grams of cocaine went before the court. It was important because prison sentences are dramatically longer for those guilty of possessing large quantities of illegal drugs.

But the man’s attorney argued state law pertains to the quantity of pure drugs in a defendant’s possession. Because what his client was caught with had been diluted, or “cut,” with other substances, he should not fall above the 100-gram standard for longer sentences, the lawyer said.

Incredibly enough, the justices bought it. They ruled sentences must be based on how much of a pure drug was involved.

Monday, in a 5-2 ruling, the high court reversed itself. In the future, sentences can be based on the total quantity, even if it is diluted with a legal substance such as baking soda.

Good. Pushers who think they have a certain quantity of cocaine and are selling it as such should be held accountable for the whole thing. The justices were right to throw out what amounted to a technicality benefiting drug pushers.

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