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Help Needed For Innocent Man on Death Row June 28, 2008

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , add a comment

One of our best assistants just e-mailed a plea to help a convicted Texas man, sitting on death row.  There is very strong evidence that he is innocent.

Dear Friends,

I have just read and signed the petition: "SAVE JEFF WOOD FROM THE TEXAS EXECUTIONER!!".

Please take a moment to read about this important issue, and join me in signing the petition. It takes just 30 seconds, but can truly make a difference. We are trying to reach 5000 signatures – please sign here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-jeff-wood-from-the-texas-executioner

Once you have signed, you can help even more by asking your friends and family to sign as well.

Thank you!


Listen, teens, Measure 11 means prison June 27, 2008

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , add a comment

Here’s a very well-written article from the Oregonian by Renee Mitchell.  It’s so important to know about Measure 11 and how easily you can be ensnared.  There’s no leeway, if accused you are done.  Defense attorneys council their clients everyday to accept a plea-bargain.  There is no way to defend yourself against Measure 11.  All it takes is a statement from a minor.  No proof that a crime occurred is necessary.  Again, only an accusation sends you to prison.  That is the reality and you better pray to God that it never happens to you.

The two 15-year-old Portland girls who were arrested in a recent light-rail verbal and physical attack on a 28-year-old Vancouver woman are facing a tough reality check that should be a good reminder to the rest of us about Oregon’s no-tolerance law:

Measure 11 does not forgive and forget. It does not take into account whether you’re a good student who made a one-time bad choice or a high-school dropout with a long history of drug-related crimes.

If you’re age 15 and above and you get caught doing the wrong thing or associating with the wrong people, you will face Measure 11 charges. And you will be charged as an adult. And if you’re convicted, you will go to prison for at least five years. With no probation. No parole. And no early release.

And it won’t matter if your parents cry themselves a river before the sentencing judge. It also won’t make any difference if your favorite teacher vouches for your potential. The law is the law, and Measure 11 does not excuse childish impulses.

Tiyana Clay of North Portland and Angela Monique Dow of Northeast Portland were allegedly part of a group of boys and girls who hit a woman after she asked them to tone down their disrespectful behavior.

One of the seven criminal charges now faced by the teen girls includes the Measure 11 offense of second-degree robbery because one of the boys stole a purse and ran from the MAX Yellow Line train after it stopped in North Portland.

"It’s very important that people understand what the laws are that affect teens, because there’s not a lot of awareness," says Tom Peavey, policy manager for the mayor’s Office of Youth Violence Prevention.

Rob Ingram, the office’s director, remembers when Ballot Measure 11 was first passed by Oregon voters in November 1994. It set mandatory minimum prison sentences, with no possibility for any reduction in sentence, such as for good behavior.

Shortly after the April 1, 1995, start date, at least five young males in Ingram’s inner circle — a foster brother, a cousin and several close friends — went to prison on Measure 11 charges. A 24-year-old associate still has 50 more years left on his 60-year prison sentence.

"It was definitely shocking and overwhelming for all of us to see that there wasn’t anything determined by their past criminal history or the situation," Ingram says. "There’s no room for mistakes."



Prison expansions bring small gains June 15, 2008

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , 1 comment so far

The Oregon State Penitentiary was built in Portland in 1851 and relocated to Salem in 1866, where it remained the state’s only major prison for 100 years. Other facilities were built to supplement the penitentiary’s mission, but with the exception of a forest work camp in Tillamook, Oregon’s prisons were confined to Salem until 1985, when the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution opened in Pendleton.

Then came the great expansion: the Powder River Correctional Facility was completed 350 miles east of Salem in Baker City in 1989, followed by a barrage of prisons named after bodies of water rather than towns: Mill Creek, Columbia River, Shutter Creek, Snake River, Two Rivers, Coffee Creek and Warner Creek. With the opening of the Deer Ridge Correctional Institution in Madras last October, Oregon’s prison industry has grown to 14 facilities, 13,500 inmates, nearly 5,000 jobs and a DOC budget of $1.26 billion. The state now spends more on prisons than on higher education.

As the new prisons were built, wages in rural Oregon stagnated. So it’s not surprising that rural communities have embraced prisons and the jobs they bring. “There’s not a lot of industry knocking at your door in these rural areas,” says Oregon Employment Department regional economist Dallas Fridley, who tracks North Central Oregon. “Given the isolated nature of some of these communities, there may not be that many options for development beyond a prison.”

Employment and income numbers indicate that Oregon’s massive investment in prison expansion has brought local gains that are modest at best. The rural counties that gambled biggest on large prisons after the passage of Measure 11, Malheur and Umatilla, have continued to struggle. In Malheur County, non-farming jobs have increased slightly since the completion of the Snake River prison, but wages have been sluggish. Malheur County has the state’s highest poverty rate, its lowest median income, and is 31st out of 36 Oregon counties in earnings per job.



Oregonians Against Measure 11 Will Continue

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , 1 comment so far

Sorry for the brief outage of our site. We were infiltrated again. This isn’t a setback….it just makes us stronger and wiser. We will pursue and continue to educate on the devastation of Measure 11.