PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Governor Kate Brown has released three inmates convicted in separate killings as juveniles early without any announcement.
It is not known to what extent prosecutors or victims had a chance to weigh-in.
The governor has made recent moves to give juvenile offenders a second chance as part of an ideological battle playing out in Oregon about how tough the state should be on crime.
However, late Thursday afternoon the governor’s office said this is separate from that.
Lucretia Karle, one of the released offenders, was one of five teenagers convicted in 2003 of the murder of Barbara Thomas in Deschutes County when Karle was 16. She was supposed to be in prison until 2026.
Joyce Pequeno, who was also released, was 15 when surveillance video showed police surrounding the Salem home where she was arrested for manslaughter for helping kill a man in 2008. Pequeno, was supposed to be locked up until 2029.
The other released inmate, Anthony Pickens, was 15 when his crime happened in Multnomah County in 1997 and was sentenced to 29 years to life in prison for murder.
Pickens’ wife told KOIN 6 News that he worked hard in prison making himself a better person and mentoring other inmates. They applied for clemency to the governor a year ago and told KOIN 6 News his victims uncle approved his release.
In recent weeks, KOIN 6 News was told dozens of inmates convicted as juveniles could begin applying for parole hearings starting Saturday to get out early, with the soonest parole hearings happening in the spring.
However, on Thursday the governor’s office told KOIN 6 News these three should not have been included in that list of eligible inmates because their cases were already in process.
The governor’s office said she granted clemency to the three in recognition of their extraordinary rehabilitation and after receiving input from prosecutors and victim family members.
Gov. Brown still has not done any interviews about her major decision to allow inmates to apply for early release.