By Norm Frink — former chief deputy district attorney for Multnomah County.
Oregonians are on the verge of having one of the most successful state government programs of the last 25 years dismantled by misleading and deceptive tactics. In 1994, Oregon was the 25th most violent state in the country with several criminal cases at the time demonstrating the inadequacy of our justice system. A young man was attacked by three juveniles while walking with his girlfriend at the Lloyd Center and brain damaged for life. A judge refused to try two of the offenders in adult court and they served inconsequential sentences. A juvenile offender who mowed down and killed a young girl in Lake Oswego was serving a sentence of less than three years for the crime. A juvenile offender who had killed a rival gang member a few years earlier – while on probation for forcible rape – was already out of custody thanks to a judge who refused to let his case be prosecuted in adult court. And a juvenile offender who served little time for killing two small children years earlier was back in the headlines for soliciting a person to murder her fiance’s former girlfriend.
Originally published by The Oregonian.