State v. Carlton

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Sentencing
  • Date Filed: 02-09-2017
  • Case #: S063917
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Brewer, J. for the Court; En Banc
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 137.719(3)(b)(B), “comparable offenses” from other states requires “close element matching” between respective out of state and Oregon statutes for any out of state convictions to be relied on in sentencing.

Defendant was given consecutive life prison terms on three counts of first-degree sexual abuse. For sentencing at trial, the State urged the trial court to take into account that Defendant had three previous convictions under a California sexual abuse statute (Cal Penal Code 288(a)). Defendant argued that the California statute was broader than the Oregon statute, that it therefore did not qualify as a comparable offense under ORS 137.719(3)(b)(B), and that the trial court erred in relying on those California convictions in sentencing. The Court engaged in extensive statutory interpretation to determine that the legislature intended for “comparable offenses” to require “close element matching” between statutes. The Court then applied that definition to the California and Oregon statutes and held that they were not comparable because the California statute did not require proof of the intent element of the Oregon statute. Reversed and remanded.

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