Willamette Law Online

Oregon Supreme Court


ListPreviousNext


State ex rel Engweiler v. Felton

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 09-01-2011
Case #: S058311
De Muniz, C.J. for the Court; Durham, J.; Balmer, J.; Kistler, J.; Walters, J.; & Linder J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/S058311.pdf

Parole and Post-Prison Supervision: The parole board exceeded its statutory authority by creating intermediate hearings for those convicted of juvenile aggravated murder and the parole board has a legal duty to grant parole release hearings to the defendants.

Defendants Engweiler and Sopher were convicted of juvenile aggravated murder (JAM) in 1990 and 1994 respectively. Both were sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Previously the parole board had promulgated rules creating intermediate hearings to determine whether and when to grant parole release hearings to those convicted of JAM. Sopher contended on appeal that the board exceeded its authority by creating these intermediate hearings. Both defendants petitioned for a writ of mandamus that would require the board to grant them parole hearings. The Supreme Court held that the parole board exceeded its statutory authority by creating intermediate hearings. Also, the Court held ORS 144.120 (1)(a) (1989) applies to Engweiler, and that a legal duty exists to grant him a hearing immediately and to grant him a release date or explanation of why no release date was given. Further, the Court held the board has a legal duty to grant Sopher a hearing under ORS 144.120 (1)(a) (1991), but that the date of the hearing is at the discretion of the parole board. Affirmed in part, reversed in part and vacated in part.