Criminal Justice

Sequestration has apparently led to a “get out of jail free” card for some detainees at an immigration lockup in Tacoma. With budget cuts looming, the Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that it’s shifting some detainees around the country to supervised release. KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

SALEM, Ore. – More than a year ago, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber stunned people by enacting a moratorium on the death penalty. It happened just weeks before the scheduled execution of two-time murderer Gary Haugen. At a hearing Tuesday, lawmakers took up the question of whether to ask voters to repeal the death penalty altogether. But it’s not clear whether that will actually happen.

Dan Bryant knows the unique pain of learning a loved one has been murdered. His mother was stabbed to death by a mentally-ill relative in 1998.

Attorneys Paint Dueling Pictures Of Mohamud

Jan 14, 2013

Attorneys laid out opening statements Friday in the trial of a young man accused of a bomb plot. The FBI enacted a sting operation that led to the arrest of Mohamed Mohamud. From Oregon Public Broadcasting, April Baer reports.

Photo by Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

We’re starting to see real world fallout from some of the state budget cuts made in last few years. One of the clearest examples in Washington is juvenile parole. Turns out the chief suspect in a recent high profile bar shooting had committed a previous murder – but did not qualify for intensive parole supervision because of cutbacks. One study finds juveniles who don’t receive parole are far more likely to be re-arrested within nine months of their release. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

Some of Oregon’s voter-approved criminal sentencing laws would get a second look under a series of recommendations approved Monday by a high level commission. It’s part of a package of ideas aimed at slowing the growth of Oregon’s prison population. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

OPB News

Gov. John Kitzhaber says Oregon can save millions of dollars a year by changing the way the state punishes non-violent criminals. The Democrat has included those savings in his next spending plan. But just how the state would save that much money is not yet clear.

Former Spokane Officer Faces 4 Years In Federal Prison

Nov 19, 2012

A former Spokane police officer was taken away in handcuffs Thursday night, more than one year after being convicted, and more than six years after Spokane man Otto Zehm died. Paige Browning reports on Karl F. Thompson Jr.’s sentencing.

Oregon Dept. of Corrections

Four years ago we brought you a story about five juvenile killers in Oregon. They received harsher sentences than some adult murderers because of what the state has called a “legal glitch.” Wednesday four of the so-called “Oregon Five” went before the state parole board.

Barry Massey was one of the youngest juvenile killers in the country to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Now, in a rare move, the Washington inmate has withdrawn his plea for clemency.

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber will likely appeal a decision made Friday that a death row inmate can reject a reprieve. Last fall Kitzhaber issued a temporary moratorium on executions in Oregon just two weeks before two-time murderer Gary Haugen was scheduled to die. Haugen challenged the reprieve in court, saying he wants to be put to death.

Collecting rainwater can get you in legal trouble in Oregon. A court has sentenced a southern Oregon man to 30 days in jail, and a fine, for maintaining 3 illegal reservoirs on his property. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix reports.

the Wang family

Before Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire leaves office in January, she will decide whether to commute the life sentence of convicted killer Barry Massey. His attorneys hope this week’s Supreme Court ruling on life without parole for juveniles will bolster their case for clemency.

During Washington’s recent legislative session, lawmakers briefly considered a bill to bring back parole for prisoners. The measure failed to move out of committee. But supporters already plan to try again next year.

The sentence of ‘life without the possibility of parole’ is steadily on the rise in U.S. prisons. Here In Washington, nearly 600 prisoners are currently serving ‘life without’. Most of them will grow old and die behind bars. It’s a prospect that’s tough to fathom.

In this collaboration with the Seattle Times, we take a look at how some ‘lifers’ come to grips with this reality….and how they search for meaning in a situation most people see as hopeless. KUOW’s Liz Jones has our story from Monroe prison.

Photo courtesy of Conservation Northwest

TWISP, Wash. -- A Twisp, Washington man has changed his plea to guilty in a high-profile federal wolf poaching case. As part of a plea agreement, the 62-year-old man will not go to prison. The lack of jail time greatly disappoints a conservation group. Correspondent Tom Banse has more on the story.

Photo by Wikipedia user: 350z33 / Wikipedia

SALEM, Ore. – The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday heard arguments about whether killers in their early teens can receive life sentences without the possibility of parole. Meanwhile, in Oregon, five teenage murderers are getting a chance at an earlier release date. The first of those young killers went before the Oregon Parole Board Tuesday. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman was there.

Wash. Lawmakers Propose New DUI Penalties

Feb 23, 2012
Photo credit: Wikimedia User Jay8g / Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are taking a multi-faceted approach to crack down on drunk driving. These proposals would increase jail time and other penalties. Another measure could require a drunk driver who kills a parent to pay child support for the surviving children. That proposal had a hearing Wednesday. Azusa Uchikura has more from Olympia.

Photo credit Wikimedia Commons

SALEM, Ore. – The new head of the Oregon Department of Corrections says she's preparing to close multiple prisons in order to address a funding shortfall. Colette Peters announced the possible actions in an email to agency staff. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are considering a plan to save money by abolishing the death penalty in the state. That idea got a hearing today in Olympia. Karil Klingbeil testified in support of the ban. Her sister, Candy Hemmig, was murdered 30 years ago in Olympia. The killer, Mitchell Rupe was dubbed “the man too fat to hang.” He initially got the death penalty, but after 20 years of appeals, received a life sentence instead. Klingbeil testified about the anger she used to feel.