Welsh v. Taylor

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief
  • Date Filed: 03-15-2017
  • Case #: A157358
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: DeHoog, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Article I, section 11, of the Oregon Constitution, trial counsel is inadequate where "counsel failed to exercise reasonable professional skill and judgment and [the] petitioner suffered prejudice as a result." Trujilo v. Maass, 312 Or 431 (1991); ORS 138.620(2).

Petitioner appealed from a judgment denying his request for post-conviction relief. Petitioner contended that he received inadequate assistance of counsel under Article I, section 11, of the Oregon Constitution and the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. On appeal, Petitioner argued his trial counsel was inadequate for not arguing the trial court should have applied the "shift-to-column 1" rule in imposing consecutive sentences. Defendant responded that the shift-to-1 rule was inapplicable because Petitioner's convictions did not arise from a single "criminal episode" under ORS 131.505(4). Under Article I, section 11, trial counsel is inadequate where "counsel failed to exercise reasonable professional skill and judgment and [the] petitioner suffered prejudice as a result." Trujilo v. Maass, 312 Or 431, 435 (1991); ORS 138.620(2). The shift-to-column 1 rule applies where a defendant is sentenced to consecutive sentences for crimes arising from a "single criminal episode." State v. Miller, 317 Or 297, 305-06 (1993); OAR 213-012-0020(2)(a)(B). Crimes are part of the same criminal episode where they arise from "continuous and uninterrupted conduct that . . . is so joined in time, place, and circumstances that such conduct is directed to the accomplishment of a single criminal objective." ORS 131.505(4). The Court held that the trial court correctly determined that Petitioner's conduct was not sufficiently "continuous and uninterrupted" to constitute a "single criminal episode." Therefore, Petitioner's counsel was not ineffective in concluding that the "shift-to-column 1" rule did not apply to Petitioner's sentencing. Affirmed. 

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