Criminal Justice

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 Now, in a rare move, the Washington inmate has withdrawn his plea for clemency.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.