State v. Nix

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 08-07-2014
  • Case #: S060875
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Landau, J. for the Court; Balmer, C.J.; Kistler, Walters, Linder, and Baldwin, Justices.
  • Full Text Opinion

"Victim" as used in ORS 161.067, Oregon's "anti-merger" statute, is determined by reference to the underlying substantive statute that is violated.

The issue in this case is whether under Oregon's "anti-merger" statute, ORS 161.067, an animal constitutes a "victim." Defendant was found guilty of 20 counts of second-degree animal neglect. The trial court merged these offenses into one count, because they believed an animal did not constitute a "victim." The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for resentencing, concluding that animals do constitute "victims" under the statute. The Court of Appeals explained that "victim" is determined by reference to the underlying substantive statute that defendant violated. In this case, the second-degree animal neglect statute is used to protect animals. This Court agreed. The decision of the Court of Appeals is affirmed. The judgment of the circuit court is reversed, and the case is remanded for entry of separate convictions on each guilty verdict for a violation of ORS 167.325 and for resentencing.

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