SB 1511 Right to retrial for non-unanimous verdict

02/20/2022
SB 1511 VOTE:NO
Died in Committee

Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2022R1/Measures/Overview/SB1511
Committee assigned to bill:https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2022R1/Committees/JWM/Overview

This bill creates process by which person convicted or found guilty except for insanity as result of non-unanimous jury verdict may file petition for post-conviction relief within one year of effective date of Act. Excludes crimes against a child under 18. Directs court to instruct jury concerning certain unavailable evidence if conviction is vacated and case is retried.

Fiscal Responsibility
Appropriates $6 million from the General Fund to be allocated to the Department of Justice for expenses of the department, district attorney offices and community-based organizations providing services to crime victims, resulting from carrying out the provisions of the measure.

Limited Government
SB 1511 would put in place a process for convicted criminals to get out of prison, even though they were convicted legally. A few years ago, the US Supreme Court found unconstitutional an Oregon law that allowed for criminals to be convicted through non-unanimous juries. The Supreme Court also said that this did not apply retroactively – meaning criminals who were legally convicted before the Supreme Court decision did not have a constitutional right to a retrial. This bill gives many of these legally convicted criminals a right to a retrial, despite what the Supreme Court said. Make no mistake, this bill would make it easier for hundreds, if not thousands, of criminals to get out of prison early on technicalities. It will retraumatize crime victims and their families by forcing them to retestify against their abusers and relive the worst days of their lives. A retired DA who tried violent criminal cases including murder said: “If the bill passes in its current, less horrible form (amended bill) we’re ‘only’ talking about 5 to 800 rapists and murderers getting out early and having their records wiped as opposed to about 10 to 12,000 as the bill was originally drawn. If passed SB 1511 would be the biggest disaster, by several magnitudes, of ANY bill/law I’ve seen in 40 years of practice.”

 

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