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HB 3194—The Real Impact
Some folks describe the sentencing reductions of HB 3194 in an academic, intellectual fashion.
Here is a reality check regarding one of the three Measure 11 crimes subject to sentence reductions in HB 3194: Sexual Abuse in the First Degree. ORS 163.427. Here is what this crime involves:
1. Sexual contact with a child under 14 years of age.
2. Sexual contact with a victim who is subjected to forcible compulsion.
3. Sexual contact with a victim who is incapable of consent because the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.
Here is how some of the above terms are defined in ORS 163.305:
“Forcible compulsion” means to compel by:
(a) Physical force; or
(b) A threat, express or implied, that places a person in fear of immediate or future death or physical injury to self or another person, or in fear that the person or another person will immediately or in the future be kidnapped.
“Mentally defective” means that a person suffers from a mental disease or defect that renders the person incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct of the person.
“Mentally incapacitated” means that a person is rendered incapable of appraising or controlling the conduct of the person at the time of the alleged offense.
“Physically helpless” means that a person is unconscious or for any other reason is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act.
“Sexual contact” means any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person or causing such person to touch the sexual or other intimate parts of the actor for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of either party.
HB 3194 eliminates the Measure 11 mandatory minimum prison term of 75 months for Sexual Abuse in the First Degree.
Instead, the sentence will be a “Guideline” sentence of as little as 16 months in prison.
This is one of the biggest impacts of HB 3194. Presently, the largest number of Measure 11 prisoners (over 1,000 of them) have been sentenced for Sexual Abuse in the First Degree.
We urge you to oppose HB 3194 on the basis that this legislation grants shorter sentences to sexual predators who prey on children and incapacitated women.
The Oregon legislature is considering a proposed law that would create more crime victims. This is not the intent of the proposal. It is intended to save money. But the effect of the proposal is very negative.
THE PROPOSED LAW – HOUSE BILL 3194
The proposed law significantly shortens sentences on the front end at sentencing and on the back end through early release. Here is how it works.
The Front End
· First, sentences for the felony crimes of Assault in the Second Degree and Robbery in the Second Degree are reduced from a mandatory minimum of 70 months in prison to as little as 34 months in prison.
· Second, a sentence for Sexual Abuse in the First Degree – that is, having sexual contact with a child under the age of 14 years – is reduced from a mandatory minimum of 75 months in prison to as little as 16 months in prison. I am told this might be increased to 34-36 months in prison.
· Third, repeat felony property offenders, such as burglars and car thieves, have their sentences reduced from 24 months or 18 months in prison to a sliding scale that only goes downward to as low as 13 months, depending on the felony crime.