Yesterday the Oregon Court of Appeals reversed the assault conviction of Vernice Scott because the trial court had excluded evidence that was relevant to his claim that he acted in self-defense.
Well it only took 42 years, but today for the first time since Oregon's criminal code was revised in 1971, we now have a legal definition for the term "does not consent" in the context of a prosecution for the crime of sexual abuse in the second degree.
Today the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the suppression of irrelevant and highly prejudicial evidence in the Compelling and Promoting Prostitution trial of Lashawn McIntyre Jr.
Last Tuesday, 31 members or associates of the Portland gang called Rolling 60s Crips were arrested in connection to various federal charges, including drug possession, felon in possession of a firearm, compelling prostitution, and domestic violence.
Today's Oregonian reports the story of a teenage driver arrested and initially charged with Manslaughter in the Second Degree (Manslaughter 2) in the hit and run death of a bicyclist in Southeast Portland. In a small bike-friendly city such as Portland, such tragic cases often receive a great deal of media exposure early in the case. This media exposure often touches on subjects that would not necessarily be admissible in a trial of the accused however. This type of exposure can have a negative impact on the accused's right to have his or her case decided by a fair and impartial jury.
On Monday, Clackamas County sheriff's deputies arrested a man who has been accused of sexually abusing a woman and a teenage girl known to him. The 52-year-old Damascus man apparently took advantage of the two females after they had become intoxicated.
A recent article in the Oregonian lamented the fact that "The promises of Measure 11, Oregon's get-tough-on-crime measure passed in 1994, haven't been met..." The true lament should be that voters were misled in 1994 as to the real impetus behind the passage of Measure 11: To take the authority and discretion in determining an appropriate sentence for a convicted person away from the judge and place it in the inscrutable hands of the prosecutor. If reducing the judicial role in sentencing, as most familiar with Measure 11 agree, was a major consideration in putting Measure 11 on the ballot, then, sadly, Measure 11 is a resounding success.