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Evidence Archives

Watch where you hide that dope

In an opinion that should produce a bunch of smirks, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that a criminal defendant can be in constructive possession of drugs found inside his co-defendant's vagina. Before we start the inevitable "slippery slope" sort of arguments a case like this is destined to produce, let's look at the facts. In State v. Sherman, an opinion announced by the COA April 22, 2015, the court found that the trial court did not err in denying defendant's MJOA "based on its determination that a reasonable juror could conclude that he constructively possessed 5.67 grams of cocaine found in his codefendant's vagina." Sure.

18 years we waited. For this?...

In 1997 the Oregon legislature passed what was then-referred to as Senate Bill 936. Senate Bill 936 made a number of changes to Oregon criminal defense statutes. No change was perhaps more significant than the addition to Oregon's evidence code of section 404(4). This section fundamentally changed the way in which Oregon courts treated an entire class of evidence commonly referred to as "prior bad acts" evidence.

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied (again)

Yesterday, the Oregon Court of Appeals held that the Cornelius Oregon Police Department did not act in good faith reliance on then-existing law when it impounded and searched a car that was parked in its owner's driveway.

A dangerous expansion of Oregon's aid and abet liability.

Today the Oregon Supreme Court upheld Ronald Everett's conviction for Solicitation to Commit Aggravated Murder on the grounds that he solicited someone to deliver damaging information about an outlaw biker to other members of that individual's outlaw biker gang, in the hopes that members of that gang might act on such information by murdering that outlaw biker.

Burglary 2 definition refined

In an appellate out of juvenile court today the Oregon court of Appeals overturned a court's finding that a child had committed the offense of Burglary in the Second Degree. Burglary in the Second Degree is committed when a person enters or remains unlawfully in a building with the intent to commit a crime therein. A person enters unlawfully when go into the building without legal authorization. A person remains unlawfully when, after entering lawfully, they remain after their authorization has expired or been revoked.

Bad Identification leads to new murder trial

Today the Oregon Court of Appeals threw out the 2010 murder conviction of Jerrin Hickman because the trial court should not have allowed two witnesses to identify him during his trial. The court returned the case to Multnomah County for a new trial because of "serious questions concerning the reliability" of the witnesses' in-court identification of Mr. Hickman and the "novelty and complexity " of the newly minted rules governing the admissibility of eyewitness identification evidence in Oregon criminal jury trials.

Oregon Supreme Court encourages police misconduct

In a shameful decision today, the Oregon Supreme Court overruled its own precedent and gutted an important part of the Oregon Constitution's guarantee to all Oregonians that they be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

DNA - Do Not (bother) Asking?

Today the Oregon court of Appeals held that a trial judge's denial of a post-conviction request for DNA testing is not an appealable ruling. In 1993 Stressa Johnson pleaded no contest to two counts of Murder and was sentenced to concurrent life sentences. In 2007 he filed a motion with the court seeking to test specific DNA evidence linking him to the murders

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Kohlmetz, Steen & Hanrahan, P.C.

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Portland, OR 97201
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