Most juvenile court judges in Ohio can’t grant witness immunity, Ohio Supreme Court holds

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that judges in the majority of juvenile courts across the state lack the authority to promise witnesses that they won’t be charged with a crime if they testify to doing something illegal.

The unanimous decision barred a Southwest Ohio juvenile court judge from granting immunity from prosecution to a child who was forced to testify against his mother in a domestic violence case. The boy wanted immunity because he had told two different stories of what happened to police and his mother’s defense attorney, according to the opinion.

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