We can expect the gun control debate to grow louder in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting on October 1, 2017. Shooter Stephen Paddock killed at least 58 people and injured nearly 500 others in the recent massacre. Proponents of stricter gun control will likely point to this shooting to plead for stricter regulation of our Second Amendment right to bear arms. Their rationale is that someone intent on mass killing would be … Read more
Aug 16, 2017
Oregon will be the first state in the U.S. to experience the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Given the expected increase of traffic and tourism, the Oregon State Police would like to remind you that the eclipse is no excuse to break the law. For example, unless there is a genuine emergency or another exemption applies, you have no right to stop your car in traffic to get a better view. (See ORS … Read more
Mar 6, 2017
Pulled over by the police, watching the flashing red and blue lights in your rear view mirror, you look for your license, registration and proof of insurance. You roll your window down and the officer asks if you’ve been drinking.
What should you say?
The truth of course. Always the truth. Especially if the truth is that you haven’t been drinking.
But what if you have been drinking?
Before you answer, you might want to … Read more
Sep 23, 2016
Just Because You’ve Completed Your Sentence Doesn’t Mean We Can’t Later Imprison You for What You Have Not Done
A recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision illustrates one of many Kafkaesque aspects of our justice system. In Clark v. Ryan, Case No. 15-15531 decided September 2, 2016, a three judge panel affirmed the state court conviction and 3-½ year prison sentence imposed for failing to comply with a sex offender registration statute enacted after the petitioner was convicted of the underlying crime.
In 1982 Davie Clark, who was then 18 years old, … Read more
Aug 3, 2016
In a recent case the Oregon Court of Appeals held that just because it appeared that the petitioner was not actually guilty of the crimes to which he pled guilty, there was no reason to let him out of prison before he had served his full term.
In the case, Hardin v. Popoff, 279 Or App 290 (2016), the petitioner had pled guilty in 2007 to four counts of encouraging child sexual abuse based on … Read more
Aug 2, 2016
We’re all familiar with those signs in retail shops selling fragile items that say, “If you break it, you buy it.” No one protests that rule or insists on a discount to the wholesale price the store paid to acquire the item it was selling. After all, when the item was broken the store not only lost what it had paid for the broken item, but also for its overhead, display, promotion of that item, … Read more
Apr 6, 2016
Adventures in Urban Policy: Paying Ex-Cons to Pay Ex-Cons not to Hurt Ex-Cons under the Supervision of Ex-Cons
Have you ever wondered why we don’t just pay criminals to stop committing crimes? If so, the City of Richmond, California has read your mind and come up with just such a plan. Richmond employs selected ex-cons from nearby San Quentin State Prison, paid by the City, to supervise and pay other convicted criminals not to kill each other; except that they sometimes can’t help themselves and kill each other anyway.
If you’re convicted of … Read more
Jan 25, 2016
Recent changes to Oregon’s expungement statute (ORS 137.225) expand the list of crimes that can be expunged while shortening the waiting periods for those eligible for expungement. For example, convictions for contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor, rape III, sexual abuse III and sodomy III may be expunged if the person seeking expungement has obtained a court order relieving them of the obligation to report as a sex offender. Convictions for certain Class … Read more
Dec 2, 2015
“Department policy is that criminal prosecutors and civil trial counsel should timely communicate, coordinate, and cooperate with one another and agency attorneys to the fullest extent appropriate to the case and permissible by law, whenever an alleged offense or violation of federal law gives rise to the potential for criminal, civil, regulatory, and/or agency administrative parallel (simultaneous or successive) proceedings.” Memorandum from the Attorney General of the United States. January 30, 2012.
“To be parallel, … Read more
Jul 21, 2015
Those who prosecute crimes in our courts are supposed to have some obligation to promote justice: to only prosecute those guilty of crime and to help vindicate the innocence of those who may be wrongly accused of criminal conduct. The criminal justice system relies on the integrity of those who enforce the law to do so honestly and fairly. All too frequently, reality does not resemble that ideal.
The Georgetown Law Journal recently published an … Read more