The Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office, through Assistant Chief Ralph M. Rivera, filed an objection with the Ohio Parole Board regarding the upcoming parole hearing of Defendant Gilbert Delgado scheduled for January 2022. Delgado was sentenced to an aggregate 48-Years-to-Life sentence after he pleaded guilty to Murder, Aggravated Burglary, Aggravated Robbery, and Kidnapping, for the April 23, 1995 murder of Hector Ramirez.
Senate Bill 256 was enacted in January 2021 and now grants parole eligibility to juvenile offenders like Gilbert Delgado, regardless of their original sentence. Because Defendant was 16 years old when he committed these offenses, he is now eligible for parole. Despite this fact, the U.S. Supreme Court specifically recognized in Graham v. Florida that “[a] State is not required to guarantee eventual freedom to a juvenile offender convicted of a non-homicide crime. What the State must do, however, is give defendants like Graham some meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation.” (Emphasis added.) Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48, 75, 130 S.Ct. 2011, 176 L.Ed.2d 825 (2010).
Thus, the law only requires that juvenile offenders like Gilbert Delgado receive an opportunity for parole, but does not guarantee their eventual release into society.
While Defendant has an opportunity for parole, the violent nature of his offenses, his significant criminal history as a juvenile, and his behavior while incarcerated in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, establish that he is not suitable for parole.
Prior to his transfer to the General Division, the Juvenile Court found that “[f]rom the evidence it appears he intentionally placed himself in a situation that was not spontaneous or reactive in nature. It appears he deliberately set in motion the facts which led to the alleged fatal act without regard to consequence.” (Judgment Entry, November 13, 1995, Case No. 1995 JUV 670.) Defendant directly planned and participated in the robbery and murder of Hector Ramirez.
Defendant’s criminal history as a juvenile included multiple criminal offenses, including drug abuse, theft, carrying a concealed weapon, and aggravated burglary.
Upon the defendant’s arrival to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, his behavior has demonstrated a lack of respect for authority and his fellow inmates. Defendant previously assaulted a fellow inmate and has a lengthy history of drug-related infractions.
For all those reasons, the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office objected to the release of Defendant Gilbert Delgado, because the senseless and brutal murder of Hector Ramirez demonstrates that there does not exist “reasonable ground to believe that * * * paroling [Gilbert Delgado] would further the interests of justice and be consistent with the welfare and security of society.” R.C. 2967.03.