By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
The survivors of three victims killed by offenders under the age of 18 joined a lawsuit contending that Gov. Kate Brown unlawfully commuted the sentences of nearly a thousand inmates.
Two district attorneys—Patricia Perlow of Lane County and Doug Marteeny of Linn County—filed the lawsuit in Marion County Circuit Court, asking the judge to prevent Brown from letting minors convicted of crimes to apply for their sentences to be commuted. The challenge contends the governor violated existing laws and procedures by failing to notify relatives of homicide victims when, in June 2021, she commuted sentences of 912 inmates considered at high risk of contracting Covid-19, and later released 41 inmates who fought the wildfires during Labor Day 2020. Coronavirus has killed 44 inmates and three jailers, according to state records. Governor Brown has been hosting secret Zoom meetings with some criminals in prisons as preparation before her commutation.
The lawsuit also contends that a 2019 law, which gives 250 offenders who committed crimes while under age 18 a “second look” chance to have their sentences reduced, isn’t retroactive, but Brown wants it to be.