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Oregon Governor Kate Brown is facing a legal challenge over the use of her executive powers to grant clemency to violent criminals, endangering citizens of her state at a time when crime has exploded across Democrat-controlled areas, including Portland which recorded a record number of homicides last year.
On Tuesday, two district attorneys along with the families of murder victims filed a lawsuit against Brown that contends that her release of nearly 1,000 inmates is unlawful and that the victims and their families had not been notified in advance, Fox News reported.
Kevin Mannix who is president of the group Common Sense for Oregon as well as the lawyer of the firm that is bringing the lawsuit against Brown said, “This is the massive release of violent criminals through a process which violates the legal requirements of law.”
“Recidivism, or repeat conviction rate, for violent criminals is at least 40%,” Mannix told Fox News Digital. “Sure, we try to rehabilitate people. We try to change their lives, and we should keep trying. But the prediction I would make is that 40% of these violent criminals are going to commit another violent crime.”
The lawsuit which was filed in Marion County Circuit Court seeks “Mandamus to order suspension of illegal sentence reductions which are being carried out under the Governor’s asserted clemency power, but which violate the clemency requirements of the Oregon Constitution and Oregon laws,” the filing reads, according to Fox News.
According to Cornell University Law School, “A (writ of) mandamus is an order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly fulfill their official duties or correct an abuse of discretion.”
“We are asking that the court compel the governor to follow the laws that are already in place,” said Monique DeSpain, a lawyer for Mannix’s firm who is quoted in an Associated Press story on the lawsuit.
Fox News reports that prosecutors Patricia Perlow of Lane County and Doug Marteeny of Linn County who are parties in suit “are also asking the judge to stifle Brown’s policy on commutations for people convicted of crimes as minors.”
“The lawsuit primarily seeks to stop early release of more than 70 people who committed crimes as juveniles, including murder, and are now eligible for parole under an executive order,” according to a report by Oregon Public Broadcasting,
Also represented in the lawsuit are Randy Tennant whose mother was brutally stabbed 10 times in the head and neck by her own grandson who stole $2,000 for a shopping spree. The killer has served only seven years of a 25-years-to life sentence.
Another family member of a victim is Samuel Williams who “lost his developmentally disabled daughter, Jessica, when three teens stabbed her under Portland’s Steel Bridge, “mutilated” her body and lit it on fire. Richard Alsup served 16 years of a 25-to-life sentence. Amy Jones, Williams’ surviving daughter, is also a plaintiff in the suit,” according to Fox News.
Also included as a party is Melissa Grassl who “found her partner, Austin French, shot dead in their bedroom on the Halloween of 2006. His brother, Cayche French, has served 14 years on a 25-to-life sentence,” Fox News reported.
One of those who could benefit from Brown’s criminal coddling is Lynley Janet Rayburn who, with the help of her boyfriend, viciously murdered a father of five just before Christmas in 2005 when they encountered Dale Rost III who was walking his dog. The meth-addled duo allegedly forced him to strip naked, hogtied him, and then shot him through the eye at point-blank range after ransacking his home, a heinous crime that horrified the state.
The lawsuit also alleges that Brown “unlawfully delegated her clemency powers” to state agencies including the Board of Parole.
“She’s turning herself into a super-legislature, which is across the board suddenly lowering sentences,” Mannix told Fox News. “And we’re saying she doesn’t have the power to carry out that process.”
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