Law Enforcers Urge OR Pols To Repeal New Early-Release Statute


Oregon law enforcers are calling for repeal of a controversial law designed to prune prison costs by shaving time off the sentences of thousands of state prison inmates, reports the Salem Statesman Journal. State lawmakers, who approved the money-saving law last year, will tackle the thorny issue during this month’s special session. They will decide whether to repeal the law or revise it, a key legislator said.

Prosecutors and police are leading the charge to persuade lawmakers to scrap the law. At issue is HB 3508, which expanded so-called “earned time” sentence reductions for prison inmates from 20 percent to 30 percent. Violent offenders convicted under Measure 11, a get-tough-on-crime sentencing law approved by voters in 1994, aren’t eligible for early releases. But the new law has spurred controversy, in part, by ushering in early-release hearings for many violent offenders who are serving time for multiple offenses. They qualify for early-release consideration on the lesser offenses on their rap sheets.

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