Kevin Mannix: Court review denial is sad day for crime victims

By Kevin Mannix

Common Sense Oregon

Kevin L. Mannix Statement regarding Clemency
Review denied by the Oregon Supreme Court, October 6, 2022

The Oregon Supreme Court has denied Review of the Oregon Court of Appeals decision in regard to the challenge by crime victims and District Attorneys as to the Governor’s exercise of clemency powers outside the process specified by law.

Kevin Mannix, attorney for the victims and District Attorneys, commented as follows on the denial of the Review:

“This is a sad day for crime victims and prosecutors in Oregon. The Oregon Supreme Court has let stand a decision by the Court of Appeals that the Governor is not bound to follow the clemency process set by law, which requires input from District Attorneys and an opportunity for victims to be heard before a clemency decision is made. Instead, the Governor can follow whatever process she wants and can ignore input from victims and District Attorneys if she wishes. The Court also allows the Governor to give the Parole Board authority to shorten sentences where the law does not give such authority.

“Because all of this involves an interpretation of Oregon law, no further appeal can be taken. Instead, I will go to the Legislature to seek a specific law which makes it clear that the Governor cannot set up her own clemency procedures and ignore the statutes. I will also seek a referral to the voters of a constitutional amendment which specifies that victims and District Attorneys must be allowed to be heard in the clemency process. I will go one step further and seek a constitutional amendment which provides that no Governor can use the clemency power to shorten felony prison sentences except when such clemency is approved by a majority vote of the Oregon Senate. This is one way we can restrict the abuse of the clemency process which we have witnessed in Oregon.”