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Jury Trials Archives

Woman admits to fabricating rape claim

This past Tuesday the local news media was widely reporting a local woman's claim that she had been forcibly raped in broad daylight by two men at a local shopping mall. Yesterday Gresham police announced the woman had fabricated the entire story.

Oregon Supreme Court approves unlisted sentencing enhancements

In a decision impacting many felony criminal cases in Oregon, the Oregon Supreme Court yesterday turned back a defense challenge to the practice of allowing Judges to impose enhanced sentences based on facts that are not specifically listed in the Oregon Sentencing Guidelines.

Prosecution's failure to subpoena victim to trial results in successful appeal

On March 19, 2011 the Oregon Court of Appeals overturned the Linn county conviction of Steve Dwain Simmons Jr. Mr. Simmons was found guilty of the class C felony crime of Assault in the Third degree after the trial judge allowed the jury to hear hearsay statements made by the "victim" of the assault even though he failed to testify personally in front of the jury.

Oregon House Votes to Limit Faith Healing Defense

Today, the Oregon House of Representatives voted unanimously to remove from the books laws which previously protected parents who refused to seek medical help for sick or dying children in favor of relying exclusively on prayer or other forms of "faith healing. The text of the Bill can be found here.

US Supreme Court runs roughshod over the Confrontation Clause

On February 28, 2011 the United States Supreme Court issued a stunning opinion backtracking from its recent line of cases which had reinvigorated the Sixth Amendment's "Confrontation Clause." This decision will be used, as had prior  rejected cases, as the basis for a gradual erosion of a criminal defendant's Constitutional right to confront the witnesses against him.

The right to Confront the witnesses against you protects us all.

Imagine, if you will, that you are working at your job on any given Monday. Suddenly, police officers burst into your office, handcuff you and drag you off to jail in front of your co-workers. You are told you have been accused of assaulting your neighbor. You are taken downtown and "processed" at the jail. You post bail (15% of which will be forfeited to the State of Oregon even if you are found Not Guilty) and go home to prepare for trial.

The shame of non-unanimous criminal jury verdicts

Today the Oregon Court of Appeals, in State v. Logan,  reminded us again that Oregon is one of only two states in the U.S. to allow a person to be convicted of a felony crime by a non-unanimous jury verdict.Louisiana is the other state that shares this dubious distinction. The Court of Appeals in Logan summarily dismissed the defense's argument that Ms. Logan's conviction should have been based on a unanimous vote of the 12 jurors who heard the case.

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Kohlmetz, Steen & Hanrahan, P.C.

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