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Lawmakers take second look at Oregon’s tough sentencing law April 29, 2007

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , trackback

With Democrats now in charge of the Legislature, lawmakers may try to soften a 1994 get-tough-on-crime law in a way that would allow the early release of juvenile offenders charged with murder, kidnapping and other serious crimes.

The proposal is drawing flak from crime victim advocates and Oregon’s district attorneys, who say voters meant it when they adopted Measure 11 in 1994.

But some legislators and advocacy groups say they think the public is ready for a second look at whether the law is cost-effective and the best way to rehabilitate young offenders.

Measure 11 requires judges to sentence people convicted of serious crimes, including young offenders, to fixed prison terms with no possibility of parole or probation.

The House and Senate judiciary committees recently conducted public hearings on measures to revise sentencing procedures for 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds who commit the most serious crimes such as murder, assault, robbery or kidnapping.

The House measure would give those youths a chance to go before a judge for a “second look” after they have served half of their sentences. Judges could grant youths release to serve the remainder of their sentences under post-prison supervision if it can be proved that they have made significant progress while incarcerated.

READ THE ENTIRE STORY HERE: http://www.kgw.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D8OPQUJ84.html



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