PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After a judge blocked Gov. Kate Brown’s order which would let the parole board review commutations, her office says they will be evaluating their legal options going forward.
The order would have allowed dozens of inmates convicted as juveniles the chance for an early release from prison.
A circuit court judge decided Brown could not transfer her constitutional authority to grant commutations and clemency to the parole board’s discretion. The move would have expanded the parole board’s authority which the judge said isn’t allowed.
Kevin Mannix, the president of Common Sense for Oregon and one of the attorneys behind the lawsuit, said there were “up to 250 cases that could be considered here.”
Despite this decision, the governor’s office said Brown will continue to use her clemency authority and thinks executive clemency “can be used to address systemic failures in our criminal justice system while we work to make lasting change.”
In the same lawsuit, the judge upheld some other commutations the governor recently made.
“The Governor is pleased the court’s letter opinion has affirmed that her use of clemency powers was within her authority and upheld every single commutation granted to date, impacting almost 1,200 individuals,” according to Gov. Brown’s office.