By Lars Larson,
NW and national radio host
I know this sounds impossible, but thanks to the FORMER Governor of Oregon, a killer walks out of prison INFINITELY early, about a month from now.
Barbara Thomas, a 52-year-old widow and mother, was beaten with a bottle and then shot to death by her son and four others in Deschutes County 20 years ago.
A jury sent Justin Link to prison for LIFE in that murder. Life is forever.
20 years means something else.
But we now know that “life” means something very different in Oregon these days.
Two years ago, using the pandemic as an excuse, Democrat Governor Kate Brown ordered a mass commutation. Brown gave more than a thousand criminals a pass out of prison…more than the last 50 years of Governors put together.
Then Brown tried to say it was the parole board that did the deed…even though they don’t have the power.
Just to make sure, Brown kicked two board members out early and replaced them. There may have been a quid pro quo in that deal, but I can’t prove it.
Used to be, parole took four hearings to determine if a killer walks.
But Kate Brown changed that…and Tina Kotek kept the change…it’s “one and done.”
A single hearing…and the NO voice is given to community outrage and only 15 minutes to the family if they know it’s happening.
So life in prison now is 20 years or less.
And guaranteed, Justin Link won’t be the last killer to walk because of Kate and Kotek.