Oregon Governor Sued for Unlawfully Freeing Over 1K Inmates
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) is facing a lawsuit alleging that she failed to follow the state’s clemency laws and erroneously freed more than 1,000 inmates.
“Victims of crime in Oregon have Constitutional and statutory rights that are being ignored by Governor Brown, the Oregon Department of Corrections, and the State Parole Board,” Lane County District Attorney Patricia Perlow said in a statement.
Two state district attorneys, Patricia Perlow and Doug Marteeny, and the relatives of three homicide victims brought the lawsuit against Brown, claiming she violated clemency procedures requiring victim notification.
“The Governor’s priority is offenders of crime, many of them violent,” Perlow said.
According to a report, Oregon law dictates that inmates must apply for clemency and the application explicitly states that the governor will only grant it in “exceptional cases when rehabilitation has been demonstrated by conduct as well as words.”
But, a majority of the individuals released allegedly did not apply, which is a violation of state law.
Additionally, Oregon law requires the governor to notify the district attorney of the relevant county, and in turn, the DA is required to inform the victim.
“We are asking that the court compel the governor to follow the laws that are already in place,” said Monique DeSpain, a lawyer who filed the case on behalf of Perlow, Marteeny, and the relatives of the homicide victims.