PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether to accept the Oregon Department of Justice’s last-ditch effort to return Frank Gable to prison. The decision could have ramifications for other convicts appealing their sentences across the country, too.
The department is asking the court to overturn two lower federal court rulings that found Gable was wrongly convicted of killing Oregon Corrections Director Michael Francke over 34 years ago. Gable’s federal public defenders are urging the court to reject the department’s appeal of the most recent ruling.
The justice department filed its final motion on Friday, March 24. The justices have scheduled a conference for April 14 to decide whether to deny the appeal or set it for arguments.
Among other things, the state’s attorneys said the lower courts misconstrued previous U.S. Supreme Court rulings that restrict when such evidence can be introduced and considered. The attorneys accuse the lower courts of trying to expand limits imposed in Chambers v. Mississippi (1973) and Schlup v. Delo (1995).
Francke’s brothers Kevin and Patrick believe Gable is innocent and oppose the appeal. Beyond unfairly sending Gable back to prison, they fear the appeal could allow the new conservative majority on the court to restrict the current legal grounds for appealing wrongful convictions. Justice Samuel Alito has been especially outspoken about wanting to limit the appeal rights of criminal defendants, they say.
Read more at the Portland Tribune.
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