DA’s and Mannix fault Gov. Brown’s new clemency plan

Kevin Mannix Press Release,

Linn County District Attorney Douglas Marteeny, Lane County District Attorney Patty Perlow, and Salem attorney Kevin Mannix, have joined in criticism of Governor Kate Brown’s July 1 action to create a Clemency Review Process of her own. The Governor’s new Clemency Review Process is designed to be an alternative to the statutory clemency review process, based on a letter from Governor Brown to the Oregon District Attorneys Association (ODAA).

District Attorneys Marteeny and Perlow are represented by Kevin Mannix in a lawsuit challenging the process used by the Governor as to clemency cases. Their challenge is before the Oregon Court of Appeals and arguments in the case were presented to the Court on June 23, 2022.

Mannix criticizes the Governor’s newest approach as follows:

“We are in Court challenging the assertion by the Governor that she is not obligated to follow the specific legal process for cases where an application for clemency has been presented to the Governor. The Governor, in this litigation, has asserted that she is free to create her own clemency process which is outside the process required by law. Her own clemency process, before July 1, was informal and failed to meet the legal requirements that the Governor notify each District Attorney of the case where the Governor is considering a clemency application, and then allows crime victims to present their perspective to the Governor.”

“In a July 1 letter to the ODAA, the Governor has now fortified her position by appointing her own victim impact liaison and by asserting that she will be in a position to decide whether or not crime victims will have an opportunity to express their views to the Governor. This process is in direct violation of the process required by law. As I pointed out to the Court of Appeals in my argument on June 23, the Governor seems to believe that she is in an alternative universe where she can create her own clemency process outside of the law. Her July 1 announcement expands this bizarre proposition by creating this alternative process where the Governor and her representatives get to decide whether or not crime victims will be given an opportunity to be heard in regard to clemency applications by the criminals who harmed the victims.”

Linn County District Attorney Douglas Marteeny issued the following statement:

“The Governor’s recent statements emphasizing her concern for crime victims in the commutation process seem disingenuous at best. Just two weeks ago she advocated before the Appellate Court to interpret the law in a way that reduces a victim’s voice. The Governor fought to be able to sidestep victim protections found in ORS 144.650.

If the Governor’s position and concern for victims have changed in the past two weeks, then I call upon her to revoke all her previous victim-silenced commutations where she didn’t follow ORS 144.650. I further ask the Governor to join me in working to mold the law, through legislation or legal interpretation, in a manner that will require herself and all future Governors to first hear from victims before commutation decisions are made.”

Lane County District Attorney Patty Perlow issued the following statement:

“It is disappointing, to say the least, that as we await the Court of Appeals decision, Governor Brown continues to create chaos and instability in our criminal justice system. As district attorneys across the state struggle to apply limited resources intended to prosecute criminals and enforce the rule of law, this Governor, and her cohort Professor Aliza Kaplan, are creating the ‘crisis’ of unprecedented numbers of felons applying for early release consideration. I object to the creation of yet another ‘alternative’ process and the appointment of a Victim Impact Liaison on the Governor’s staff. This merely continues to distance the Governor from the victim and the cold hard facts that she wants to ignore.”
A copy of the Governor’s letter to the ODAA.