DeRemer, Bentz press Kotek to review commutations after outcry

Letter comes after reports indicate Oregon serial killer suspect was granted conditional commutation by Governor Brown
By CongressWoman Lori Chavez-DeRemer,


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reps. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05) and Cliff Bentz (OR-02) urged Governor Tina Kotek to review every conditional commutation granted by her predecessor, Governor Kate Brown. The letter comes after investigators linked four suspicious deaths from earlier this year to one person of interest, and reports indicate that this individual was released from prison early after being granted conditional clemency by Brown.

“In light of these recent events, we write with deep concern for Oregonians’ safety. It is no secret that the Portland area has already been experiencing a severe and dangerous crime crisis in recent years. 2021 and 2022 were the deadliest years in Portland’s history, with both years soaring past the previous homicide record set in 1987,” the lawmakers wrote.

As Portland’s homicide rate soared, Brown proceeded with granting some form of clemency to over 1,000 inmates

– more than all Oregon governors in the last 50 years combined. The person of interest in the serial killer case is believed to be one of those inmates, who has an extensive criminal record. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office has referred to the individual as a “prolific thief and career criminal.”

“Despite this extensive and troubling record, and despite the Portland area facing an unprecedented onslaught of crime, Governor Brown proceeded with granting this person a conditional commutation without any other public input or feedback,” the lawmakers continued. “Understandably, this situation has left many Oregonians deeply concerned about the hundreds of clemencies granted by Governor Brown. As we work to decrease crime and restore safety for Oregonians, we urge you to review every single conditional commutation granted by Governor Brown to ensure no one is a victim of the former governor’s reckless leniency. Additionally, we would like to work with you to determine a clear and transparent clemency procedure to ensure Oregonians have a say in the process.”

Full text of the letter is available HERE.