Skip navigation

Articles by Mark Wilson

Four Female Prisoners Seek Damages Over Abuses at Oregon Prison Called A “Cesspool” of Staff Sexual Abuse, Latest in Abuse Saga

by Mark Wilson

In a report on pervasive sexual abuse of prisoners at Oregon’s only women’s prison in 2017, Prison Legal News reached another five years back in history to quote Brian Lathan, an attorney for some of the women who warned in 2012, “It now really is an epidemic.” ...

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed for Murder of Oregon DOC Director, But State Wants Him Back In Prison

by Mark Wilson

"The State can no longer afford to manufacture a case built on lies and half-truths,” wrote Patrick and Kevin Francke in their letter to a federal judge in support of the man wrongfully convicted of killing their brother.

After serving 28 years in prison, Frank E. Gable, then 59 years old, walked out of prison on June 27, 2019. He was a free man but he had a cloud hanging over his head that remains there still. The state of Oregon had filed an appeal to the court order that released him, which remains pending.

On April 18, 2019, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge John V. Acosta released the stunning decision that Gable was “probably” innocent of murder. In a 94-page opinion, he ordered the state to retry or free Gable within 90 days.

Gable was convicted for the 1989 murder of Michael Francke, Director of the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC).

Francke’s brothers wrote in their letter to the judge that the state should “abandon this fruitless endeavor” of trying Gable again. They hoped officials would “concede that they convicted an innocent man.” The sooner they do so, “the better and justice will be served!”

The ...

Oregon Suspends Outside Prisoner Work Crews After Prisoner Escape Sparks International Incident

by Mark Wilson

On September 22, 2021 Oregon prison officials suspended outside prisoner work crews “in order to review any potential changes following a walk away earlier this year” according to an internal memo sent by Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) Director Colette Peters and Deputy Director Heidi Steward.

The pause comes in the wake of a high-profile international incident. Fourteen-time felon, Jedaiah Lunn, 36, was incarcerated at the South Fork Forest Camp, a 200-bed minimum-security prison on the Oregon coast operated by ODOC and the Oregon Department of Forestry. While on a work crew at the Gales Creek Campground on April 14, 2021, Lunn walked away, accosted two women who are Japanese nationals, brutally beating them with a large stick, and severely injuring both of them. He then stole their car. Later that day he was caught and arrested. Lunn faces multiple charges, including attempted murder, first-degree assault, first-degree robbery and escape. 

The incident prompted angry Japanese government officials to write Oregon Governor Kate Brown demanding answers. After taking several months to respond, Brown initially stood by the program. The Forest Camp has “largely been successful” Brown wrote to a Japanese diplomat.

Of course, the program’s success was little ...

No Qualified Immunity for Oregon Prison Officials’ COVID-19 Response; Class Certified

Sixth Circuit Refuses to Extend Bivens to BOP Prisoner’s First Amendment Claims

Federal prisoner Scott Callahan is incarcerated at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, ...

BOP’s Terminal Island Response Sparked COVID-19 Spread

California Prison Factories Fined For Exposing Unwitting Workers to COVID-19

"Conservative New York County Enacts Progressive Transgender Prisoner Policy"

The ...

Oregon Prison Staff Said to Contribute to High Prisoner COVID-19 Infection, Death Rates

by Mark Wilson

 

With 3,392 (28.1%) of 12,073 prisoners infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) and 42 prisoner deaths - 20 deaths occurring in January 2021 alone — Oregon prisoners are being infected at nearly 10 times higher than Oregon’s 3.1% general public infection rate and they are dying at a ...

Democrat Controlled Legislature Introduces Two Bills to Abolish Oregon’s 164-Year Old Felon Disenfranchisement Law

by Mark Wilson

“Individuals who commit crimes need to be held accountable, but they should not be stripped of their rights as a citizen,” said Oregon state Senator Floyd Prozanski, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, whose committee is considering one of two bills to eliminate Oregon’s 164-year prohibition on ...