State v. Habibullah

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 05-11-2016
  • Case #: A157003
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, P.J. for the Court; Hadlock, C.J.; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 136.440 the state must present evidence that connects a defendant with the commission of the offense and the evidence may not be testimony of an accomplice.

Defendant appealed the judgment of conviction because trial court erred when it denied motions for judgment of acquittal for solicitation to commit fourth-degree assault, conspiracy to commit fourth-degree assault, and solicitation to commit third-degree robbery. Under ORS 136.440, the State must present evidence that connects a defendant with the commission of the offense and the evidence may not be the testimony of an accomplice. In this case, the State only offered testimony of an accomplice. Defendant also appealed the failure to merge the guilty verdicts by the trial court. The Court concluded that its decision to correct a plain error by the trial court depends on the gravity of the error and the ends of justice. Factors that the Court considers when choosing to exercise plain-error review are: the competing interests of the parties; the nature of the case; the gravity of the error; the ends of justice in the particular case; how the error came to the Court’s attention; and whether policies behind the general rule require preservation of error have been served in another way. The convictions of solicitation to commit fourth-degree assault, conspiracy to commit fourth-degree assault, and solicitation to commit third-degree robbery were reversed. The convictions for solicitation to commit murder and conspiracy to commit murder were reversed and remanded for entry of a single conviction.

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