OREGON DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
Death Row Story Statement
As prosecutors, we have significant concerns about the Department of Corrections apparent plan to abolish death row and move those sentenced to death to other housing options within DOC. We have not seen the full plan nor do we know all the details. What we do know is that we are now contacting victims’ families to give them this news. And this news will not be welcome.
The permanent segregation of the most dangerous of Oregon’s inmates on death row has historically occurred for very valid safety and security reasons. Unlike other areas in prison, Death Row meant that inmates would be kept separate from most other people most of the time. The safety of our communities is just one obvious reason for that. These inmates have committed the most heinous of crimes. They are cop killers, child murderers, and serial sexual predators who have committed Aggravated Murder. They have wreaked unimaginable havoc upon the lives of their victims. And a unanimous jury necessarily found that they pose a future danger to society in order to decide that the death penalty was appropriate. Keeping them in permanent isolation from society is but a small consequence in comparison to what they have done. And yet it still serves as one form of appropriate punishment for their crimes and keeps our neighborhoods safe, even if execution was never a real possibility in this state under recent Governors.
But the safety of the community within the walls of the prison is also a real and significant concern and is another reason why the isolation of death row is so necessary. Several of these death row inmates have killed other inmates. Their restrictive death row accommodations are the only real punishment left for those that kill inside. Many have abysmal criminal and disciplinary records from their numerous prior incarcerations including threatening staff, crafting weapons and assaulting people while in custody. They pose a continual risk to correctional officials, medical professionals, educators and other inmates should they be walking free in general population. The best predictor of future behavior is prior behavior. One need only look at the atrocious crimes committed by these individuals to know they are a continual risk should they have access to and influence over other people within the Department of Corrections.
We hope that the Department of Corrections will continue to assess the appropriateness of this plan and will consider the negative impact this drastic change will have upon victims and upon our communities both inside and outside prison walls.
ODAA Press Release - Senate Bill 1013 Fix
ODAA supports the special session to fix the problems with Oregon’s Aggravated Murder law caused by Senate Bill 1013. While we continue to believe this change to Oregon’s death penalty laws should have been referred back to the voters, we support fixing Senate Bill 1013 by clarifying that it is not retroactive and will only apply to new crimes going forward. We appreciate Governor Brown’s collaboration on addressing this problem and look forward to working toward a solution that protects crime victims and communities throughout Oregon.
Media Inquiries: Tim Colahan, ODAA Executive Director
View Full Press Release HERE
Letter from the ODAA Regarding Senate Bill 1013
We are writing on behalf of Oregon’s elected district attorneys to alert you to a public safety issue that requires your immediate attention. This issue relates to Senate Bill 1013, which redefines Aggravated Murder and becomes effective in approximately six weeks on September 29, 2019.
ODAA Joins Law Enforcement for Memorial Ceremony
Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson and ODAA Executive Director Tim Colahan joined law enforcement leaders and community members from across Oregon May 7th, 2019, to honor and remember 187 fallen law enforcement officers and the families they left behind during a memorial ceremony at Public Safety Standards and Training. The names of four fallen Oregon law enforcement officers have been approved for addition to the state memorial.
The names being added this year were Ashland Police Officer Malcus Williams, Bend Police Sgt. John Lawrence, and two Multnomah County Sheriff’s Deputies who were seriously injured in the line of duty and retired as a result of their injuries, Deputy Robert Ray Anderson and Deputy Sheriff Irving Burkett. Both of these deputies were added under the historic recognition program which allows fallen officers from previous years to be honored on the memorial after careful review and approval. Featured speakers included Governor Brown, Former State Representative Andy Olson (Albany), Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese, Ashland Police Sergeant Bobby Smith, and Bend Police Captain Nick Parker. The memorial was hosted by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) in partnership with the Oregon Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, Oregon Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation, and Oregon's various statewide law enforcement associations.
The memorial honors the fallen Oregon law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty since the 1880s. This includes officers from city, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies who have served as law enforcement officers, corrections officers, and parole and probation officers. The Oregon memorial was held the week ahead of National Police Week events in Washington, D.C., so that family members and co-workers could attend both memorial ceremonies.
The ODAA has received inquiries about our report “ODAA: An Examination of Juvenile Measure 11 in Oregon Today.” We would like to take the opportunity to answer questions posed and to further explain our position relating to Juvenile Measure 11."
On Thursday, March 14th, 2019, the ODAA distributed a letter to all members of the Oregon House of Representatives as well as the members of the Oregon State Senate. The letter outlines the ODAA's goals, values and hopes for the future. Full text of the letter can be found HERE.
"We understand that as legislators you are inundated with the opinions by individuals and groups attempting to persuade you. We hope that you recognize that we are a unique group of statewide elected officials whose sole purpose is to ensure safety and justice."
"The criminal justice challenges ahead are complex. Mental health, the opioid crisis, and juvenile justice issues require an “all hands on deck” approach to address. Our genuine hope is to work with you to address these challenges with the knowledge that we share in common a mutual desire to work in the best interests of all Oregonians."
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Statement from OR District Attorneys Association:
Friday, September 21, 2108 the Oregon Supreme Court heard oral arguments in John S. Foote v. State of Oregon/State of Oregon v. Santiago Maximo Vallin. The primary issue before the court is whether or not HB 3078, adopted by the 2017 Legislature, requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature because it reduced a criminal sentence approved by the voters in 2008.
On behalf of the Oregon District Attorneys Association:
“We believe that the Legislature must respect the will of the voters who overwhelmingly approved minimum sentencing rules for certain crimes, including Identify Theft and Theft in the First Degree. As required by the Oregon Constitution, if the Legislature wishes to reduce sentences for certain crimes, which HB 3078 did, they must meet the higher vote threshold as dictated by the voters who placed that requirement in the Oregon Constitution. To-date, at least 12 County Circuit Court Judges have agreed that the higher vote threshold was required and have found HB 3078 unconstitutional. It is ODAA’s hope that today the Supreme Court agrees and finds HB 3078 unconstitutional,” said Matt Shirtcliff, President of the Oregon District Attorneys Association.
The counties that have ruled HB 3078 unconstitutional include: Clackamas, Clatsop, Coos, Crook, Hood River, Jefferson, Lincoln, Linn, Tillamook, Umatilla, Wasco and Washington.
2019-2021 Budget & Legislative Concepts Instructions. Click Here
Oregon Appeals Court Hears Challenge To Non-Unanimous Convictions. Click Here
2018 ODAA AWARD WINNERS
OFFICE MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Pam Owen Jacobson, Washington County
This award is designed to recognize the extraordinary efforts and achievements of an officer manager within an Oregon DA’s office. Eligible nominees include all full time support staff within Oregon district attorneys’ offices.
NOMINATION CRITERIA: This award will be given annually at the ODAA Summer Conference to one office manager within an Oregon DA’s office who has demonstrated outstanding and exceptional performance. This award could be given for one specific act or for a series of outstanding accomplishments in the past fiscal year which demonstrate the individual’s exceptional dedication and contributions to achieving the goals of the DA’s office.
EXCELLENCE IN VICTIM ADVOCACY AWARD
This award is designed to recognize a victim advocate who represents outstanding, selfless and sustained service to crime victims.
NOMINATION CRITERIA: This award will be given annually at the ODAA Summer Conference to one victim advocate/director within an Oregon DA’s office who has demonstrated and provided exceptional support and service on behalf of crime victims. This award could be given for one specific act or for a series of outstanding accomplishments in the past fiscal year which demonstrate the individual’s sustained service and exceptional advocacy on behalf of crime victims.
CERTIFICATE OF COMMENDATION
Karen Gunson, M.D.
This Certificate of Commendation is presented to Karen Gunson, M.D.; by the Oregon District Attorneys Association in recognition of and deep appreciation for your many contributions to District Attorneys and public safety in Oregon.
PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Chuck Sparks, Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney
Katie Suver, Marion County Deputy District Attorney
This award is designed to recognize an Oregon deputy district attorney who has dedicated copious amounts of time and effort for the advancement of the ODAA. Eligible nominees include all full time Oregon deputy district attorneys.
NOMINATION CRITERIA: This award will be given annually at the ODAA Summer Conference to one deputy district attorney who has made significant contributions to the ODAA. This award can be given for a series of outstanding prosecutorial accomplishments in the past fiscal year which demonstrate the deputy DA’s leadership and guidance or one specific action that greatly befitted the ODAA.
CHILD SUPPORT SUPERIOR SERVICE AWARD
Janet Sloane, Marion County
This award is designed to recognize a child support employee in an Oregon district attorney’s office who has demonstrated dedication and commitment to their child support program beyond the call of duty.
NOMINATION CRITERIA: This award will be given annually at the ODAA Summer Conference to one child support employee who has demonstrated outstanding and exceptional performance in the area of child support. This award can be given for one specific event or a series of outstanding accomplishments in the past fiscal year which demonstrates the individual’s exceptional dedication and contributions towards the administration or the improvement of child support services.
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
JWalt Beglau, Marion County
TThis award is designed to recognize an individual with a distinguished career as an elected district attorney. Eligible nominees included elected DAs with fifteen (15) or more years of prosecutorial experience.
NOMINATION CRITERIA: This award will be given annually at the ODAA Summer Conference for outstanding accomplishments sustained by an Oregon district attorney who, during the course of their career, has made significant contributions to the protection of public safety and the administration of justice, and whose career exemplifies the highest standards of dedication and commitment demonstrated by a district attorney.
WILDLIFE PROSECUTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD
Brad Berry, Yamhill County District Attorney
Award presented by Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division Captain Jeff Samuels, in conjunction with the Oregon Hunters Association & the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
2017 ODAA AWARD WINNERS
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD
Bob Hermann, Washington County District Attorney
This award recognizes an individual with a distinguished career as an elected district attorney. Eligible nominees included elected DAs with fifteen (15) or more years of prosecutorial experience.
PROFESSIONAL SERVICE AWARD
George Eder, Linn County Deputy District Attorney
This award recognizes an Oregon deputy district attorney who has dedicated copious amounts of time and effort for the advancement of the ODAA. Eligible nominees include all full time Oregon deputy district attorneys.
VICTIM ADVOCACY AWARD
Debbie Wise, Deschutes County District Attorneys Office
This award recognizes a victim advocate who represents outstanding, selfless and sustained service to crime victims.
CHILD SUPPORT SUPERIOR SERVICE AWARD
Kassandra Bliss, Crook County District Attorneys Office
This award recognizes a child support employee in an Oregon district attorney’s office who has demonstrated dedication and commitment to their child support program beyond the call of duty.
OFFICE MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Krys Satter, Jackson County District Attorneys Office
This award recognizes an office manager within an Oregon DA’s office who has demonstrated outstanding and exceptional performance.
POLICY MAKER OF THE YEAR
Sen. Betsy Johnson, District 16
Rep. Jeff Barker, District 28
This award recognizes public policy makers who have made outstanding contributions toward the protection of public safety, service to victims and/or the administration of justice in the State of Oregon.