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Governor Brown commutes prison sentence for 57 Oregon inmates

Governor Kate Brown on Thursday announced the decision to commute the sentences for 57 'medically vulnerable adults' in state custody.

Posted: Jun 25, 2020 12:46 PM
Updated: Jun 25, 2020 5:33 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown announced on Thursday that she has commuted the prison sentences of 57 "medically vulnerable" inmates in the state corrections system due to the ongoing spread of coronavirus.

Brown requested earlier this month that the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) provide her with a list of prison inmates who might be eligible for release from custody and could be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

“I received a list of 61 adults in custody from the Department of Corrections for consideration of commutation," Brown said. "I have authorized the commutation process to begin for 57 of those individuals, all of whom are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and who do not present an unacceptable public safety risk. I would like to thank Director Peters and her team for their diligence in completing their case-by-case analysis."

Eligible inmates had to be identified as particularly vulnerable to coronavirus based on DOC medical staff assessments, could not be serving a sentence for a "person crime," must have served at least 50 percent of their sentence, must have a record of good conduct over the past year, must have options for housing and health care needs, and must not present a major risk to the community.


CLICK HERE to view the list of Oregon inmates approved for commutation


According to Brown's office, three of the people suggested by the DOC were not offered a commutation because they were already scheduled for release within the next seven days. Another inmate was not scheduled for release until 2025, and the Governor decided that a commutation would be "premature."

Only 13 of the approved inmates already have housing and health care plans in place for their release, and will only need to be tested for coronavirus before their release. The other inmates will be eligible for release once their release plans are in place and they have tested negative for the virus.

Despite the commutation, the inmates will still be subject to post-prison supervision — and the remaining time that they would have otherwise spent in prison will be added to the length of that supervision.

"PPS typically requires released individuals to meet a number of conditions, including regularly checking in with their parole officer, participating in substance abuse and mental health evaluations, and not possessing any firearms," Brown's office said. "Individuals who violate the terms of their PPS are subject to sanctions, including a return to prison and revocation of their commutation."

Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod, R-Stayton, issued a statement on Thursday afternoon indicating opposition to the commutations that Brown and Democratic lawmakers approved.

“The Governor’s decision outlines a disturbing trend that she has created in the Oregon criminal justice system to earn political points," Girod said. "The early release of inmates now coupled with the 2019 bill that narrowed the use of the death penalty and changed sentences for the most serious murder crimes, are both policies that favor offenders and excuses their violent choices."

Girod also implied that only a few of the inmates would be released with housing plans in place while the rest would be turned out "on the streets," although Brown's plan stipulated that all inmates must have housing arrangements made prior to release.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 353368

Reported Deaths: 4226
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55417699
Washington38425317
Marion36469448
Clackamas29440306
Lane27431300
Jackson22837305
Deschutes19958125
Umatilla14358145
Linn12672126
Douglas11962243
Josephine9307195
Yamhill8621111
Klamath7846116
Polk724881
Malheur555376
Benton541931
Coos495494
Columbia377043
Jefferson367752
Union316548
Lincoln315438
Wasco284840
Crook281846
Clatsop242029
Baker199928
Tillamook195529
Hood River190537
Morrow183423
Curry179425
Harney111926
Grant99512
Lake91012
Wallowa67612
Gilliam1524
Sherman1483
Wheeler1121
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4830872

Reported Deaths: 70874
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147942126446
Riverside3706085008
San Diego3652534170
San Bernardino3576395606
Orange3235695531
Sacramento1587852294
Fresno1453782063
Kern1452271616
Santa Clara1451271895
Alameda1203661384
San Joaquin1023411721
Ventura1008491165
Contra Costa99712995
Stanislaus857501325
Tulare79627958
San Francisco54266644
San Mateo54023622
Monterey50792583
Solano45934339
Santa Barbara45047522
Merced42089579
Sonoma40865402
Placer39157420
Imperial35832764
Kings32649320
San Luis Obispo29837331
Madera23720285
Butte23673265
Shasta23574349
Santa Cruz20943218
Yolo20266248
Marin17665244
El Dorado17097149
Sutter13861172
Napa12864100
Yuba1001982
Tehama9433107
Humboldt9180107
Nevada911690
Mendocino758487
Lassen753046
San Benito741672
Tuolumne682889
Lake6583104
Amador540764
Siskiyou446442
Glenn434232
Calaveras386580
Del Norte357441
Colusa303018
Inyo205540
Mono16643
Plumas16126
Mariposa132315
Trinity86911
Modoc6755
Unassigned2120
Sierra1820
Alpine1030
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