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State v. Sills

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-26-2013
Case #: A146207
Nakamoto, J. for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; and Wollheim, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A146207.pdf

Criminal Procedure: Under the former fugitive doctrine, an appellate court has judicial authority to dismiss an appeal if a fugitive's escape significantly interfered with the appellate process.

Gabriel David Sills appeals convictions for first-degree sexual abuse and public indecency. Sills argued that he was not timely sentenced under Interstate Agreement on Detainers (IAD) and his 75-month sentence for first-degree sexual abuse was unconstitutionally disproportionate. Sills fled to California after being convicted and was not sentenced until 10 years later when, after being convicted of other sex offenses in California, he was extradited back to Oregon. Sills was convicted of sexual abuse for fondling a young girl and was convicted of public indecency for exposing himself to another young girl. The IAD is a congressionally sanctioned compact among the states that provides a procedure to transfer prisoners of one state to stand trial in another state. Under the former fugitive doctrine, an appellate court has judicial authority to dismiss an appeal if the appellate process was significantly interfered with and the Government was prejudiced in locating witnesses and presenting evidence at retrial because of a defendant’s escape and lengthy fugitive status. The Court held that the length of delay was significant, but reasonable because of Sills’s actions and because Oregon does not provide for sentencing in absentia on felony cases. Appeal dismissed in part; otherwise affirmed.