REP. WAND WORKING TO ENSURE MORE CRIME VICTIMS ARE ALLOWED TO ADDRESS PAROLE BOARD
SALEM— Rep. Matt Wand (R-Troutdale) is working to ensure more crime victims are allowed to testify to the Oregon Board of Parole Post-Prison Supervision when their offenders are scheduled for parole hearings. Rep. Wand, a House Judiciary Committee member, is seeking to address the board’s decision to exclude victims if their offenders weren’t convicted of committing crimes against them.
The board recently cited the policy when refusing to accept testimony from known victims of Richard Troy Gillmore, a convicted rapist who admitted to assaulting several young girls and women in Multnomah County. Because Gillmore wasn’t formally convicted of every crime he admitted to committing, those victims were not allowed to testify at Gillmore’s hearing scheduled for this week.
“Regardless of the board’s intentions, this flawed policy is denying victims their rightful opportunity to testify about the attacks they’ve suffered,” Rep. Wand said. “East County has rallied in support of the young women who were victimized by Gillmore. I will fight to make certain that all of his victims have a voice in the future so that our community is protected.”
The board’s administrative rule effectively redefined a victim as “any person determined by the prosecuting attorney, the court or the Board to have suffered direct financial, psychological, or physical harm as a result of a crime that is the subject of a proceeding conducted by the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision.”
Rep. Wand has asked the board to adopt an emergency rule allowing testimony from victims who’ve been harmed by the offender, but who are not the victim of the crime giving rise to the incarceration. Wand said he will introduce legislation during the 2013 session of the Oregon Legislature if the Parole Board fails to clean up the rule.
“The board should fix this policy even if it is limited to crimes that the convict confessed to, but a conviction was not obtained,” Rep. Wand said. “This would apply to a limited number of circumstances, but shouldn’t negatively impact how cases are prosecuted. If the board decides to maintain the current rule, I will consider introducing legislation to resolve this issue during the 2013 session.”
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Rep. Matt Wand “I will fight to make certain that all of his victims have a voice in the future so that our community is protected.”
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Rep. Matt Wand “A true victory for crime victims.”
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Rep. Matt Wand “Glad to see the parole board has reversed it’s decision.”