Logan v. State of Oregon
Case #: A144503
Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; and Brewer, Judge pro tempore
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A144503.pdf
Post-Conviction Relief: In order to qualify for post-conviction relief based on trial counsel's failure to object to testimony, a defendant must be prejudiced by the attorney's failure to do so.
The State appealed judgment setting aside petitioner's convictions for four counts of first-degree sexual abuse, ORS 163.427, two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, ORS 163.575, and granting Defendant post-conviction relief. The State argued that the post-conviction court improperly concluded that Defendant’s counsel’s performance was constitutionally inadequate because of his failure to object to testimony about "treatment recommendations" made after a sexual-abuse evaluation of the victim. In addition, the State argued that Defendant failed to establish that counsel’s failure to object to the testimony resulted in prejudice. Defendant also cross-appealed on four grounds. The Court held the testimony about the treatment recommendations did not amount to a direct comment about the credibility of the witness. Therefore under the law at the time of the trial any objection to the comment as impermissible credibility vouching would have failed. Since the objection would have failed, the post-conviction court erred in granting petitioner post-conviction relief by concluding that petitioner had been prejudiced by counsel’s failure to object to the admission of the treatment recommendations. The Court rejected Defendant’s assignments of error without discussion. Reversed on appeal; affirmed on cross-appeal.