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On this day, November 26, 2010, US federal agents in a sting operation arrested Mohamed Osman Mohamud (19), a Somali-born teenager, just as he tried blowing up a van he believed was loaded with explosives at a crowded Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland.

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Measure 11: Under Assault by the Governor and Legislature
Every victim of these criminals will have to be contacted

Editor's note: This is the second of a multi-part series on Measure 11 and its impact on crime. This series is adapted from letters written to the legislature by Kevin Mannix, the author of Measure 11.

Proponents of the elimination of Measure 11 argue that it is sufficient to rely on the felony sentencing guidelines system. So, it is helpful for current legislators to compare the mandatory minimum prison sentence under Measure 11 with the guideline sentence range.

An examination of the reality of the sentencing guidelines as they were actually carried out in 1994, the last year before Measure 11 went into effect, is instructive. The low range of the sentencing guidelines was the norm.

In fact, in many cases convictions for very serious crimes lead to sentences under sentencing guidelines of probation rather than incarceration in state prisons. For example, in 1994 60 persons were convicted of Rape in the First Degree. Five of these 60 convicted rapists were sentenced to probation rather than prison under the complex formula of sentencing guidelines. This was the case even though the lowest guideline sentence for Rape in the First Degree was supposed to be 34 months.

Thanks to a comprehensive 1997 Oregon Criminal Justice Commission report, we can take a look at the actual prison sentence imposed under Sentencing Guidelines throughout 1994, in 34 out of the 36 counties in Oregon (two counties did not submit data). 1994 is the last year in which Measure 11 did not exist.

Here are some reality checks, all based on real world data of Oregon courts in 1994: The criminal justice system, sadly, under Sentencing Guidelines, fails to provide justice to victims of some of the worst violent and sexual assault crimes. This is the same sentencing system which opponents of Measure 11 want to return to. The actual statutory description of many of the 16 crimes covered by Measure 11 will help people understand why it has often been said "the crime defines the time" regarding the mandatory minimum Measure 11 prison sentences.



Governor Brown is considering granting early release for Measure 11 criminals who helped fight Oregon Wildfires. The only way the Governor can reduce any Measure 11 mandatory minimum prison sentence is by using her constitutional clemency power. Many believe that the exercise of clemency power requires that the Governor evaluate each specific case in which clemency is considered, and that she cannot carry out massive clemency grants which have the effect of changing established law regarding criminal sentences.

Many oppose this proposed reduction of sentences as to violent and sex criminals in light of the crimes which are involved and in recognition of the rights of victims to be consulted about this. Under the Oregon constitution every single victim of these Measure 11 criminals will have to be contacted in regard to this early release. This in itself imposes additional trauma on these victims.

Photo by Issy Bailey on Unsplash

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-22 09:49:16Last Update: 2021-03-20 20:45:26

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