State v. Johnson

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief
  • Date Filed: 05-18-2016
  • Case #:
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; & Egan and Shorr, JJ.
  • Full Text Opinion

A motion under ORS 138.690 for DNA testing of evidence used against a defendant in post-conviction relief proceedings does not constitute a collateral attack on the underlying conviction or validity of the proceedings. A motion that produces exculpatory evidence may or may not constitute a collateral attack on the validity of the underlying conviction or proceedings in violation of a previous plea agreement.

Defendant appealed a trial court's denial of Defendant's motion under ORS 138.690 for DNA testing of evidence used against him, assigning error to the trial court's determination that Defendant's motion under ORS 138.690 consituted a "collateral attack" to Defendant's conviction under Oregon's Post Conviction Relief Act, ORS 138.510 to 138.680, in violation of Defendant's plea agreement which barred any “collateral attack[s] . . . with regards to the validity of the sentence . . . the validity of these convictions and any attack on the validity of the proceedings involved underlying his plea of no contest . . . .” The Court held that a successful motion under ORS 138.690 yields, at most, a DNA test of evidence used at trial, which does present a collateral attack on the validity of the sentence or proceedings; that it may lead to a collateral attack on the underlying convictions is irrelevant. The court declined to reach the question of whether a filing for a new trial based on exculpatory evidence produced by a successful motion under ORS 138.690 would constitute a collateral attack on the validity of the underlying conviction or proceedings in violation of a plea agreement. Reversed and remanded.

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