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Articles by Mark Wilson

Oregon Lawmakers Prohibit Prison and Jail Telephone Kickbacks

by Mark Wilson

This isn’t just an issue of economics,” said Oregon Senator Sara Gelser, the chief sponsor of a bill prohibiting jail and prison telephone contract kickbacks that passed nearly unanimously. “This is really about the humanity of the people that are in our prisons and the ability of ...

Oregon Prison Guard, Guilty of Pocketing $10,811 in Falsified Overtime, Sues for Racism

by Mark Wilson

An Oregon prison guard’s 37-year career came to an inglorious end when he was caught stealing $10,881 from the Department of Corrections by falsifying his time cards. After a failed attempt to dismiss the prosecution as being racially motivated, the guard pleaded guilty and paid back his ...

Deaf Oregon Prisoner Awarded $125,000 for Jail’s Failure to Accommodate Disability

by Mark Wilson

On September 25, 2019, a federal jury in Oregon ordered Multnomah County jail officials to pay $125,000 to a deaf man for refusing to accommodate his disability while he was in custody.

David Updike, 52, was born deaf and communicates through American Sign Language (ASL). He never ...

First-Class Mail Insufficient for Mailing Date to be Filing Date in Oregon

by Mark Wilson

The Oregon Court of Appeals held on July 31, 2019 that first-class mail is insufficient to allow a mailing date to serve as the filing date for a notice of appeal.

The timely filing of a notice of appeal is a jurisdictional prerequisite for an appeal under ...

Oregon Prisoner’s Preventable Death Reveals Culture of Systemic Indifference

 by Mark Wilson

Michael Barton was sentenced to a six-year prison term by the Jackson County Circuit Court in April 2017, for second-degree robbery of a bank. Surveillance video immediately called his mental state into question when it showed Barton waiting politely while bank employees not only collected the ...

Oregon Passes Historic Juvenile Justice Reform Bill but Refuses to Apply it Retroactively

by Mark Wilson

On July 22, 2019, Oregon joined 22 other states and the District of Columbia in eliminating life without parole sentences for prisoners who committed their offenses as juveniles. The state enacted quite possibly the most progressive and broad juvenile justice reforms in the nation, ending the state’s ...

Oregon Court of Appeals: Entering iPhone Passcode is Testimonial Act; Can Be Compelled if State Establishes Defendant’s Knowledge of Passcode is ‘Foregone Conclusion’

by Mark Wilson

In a case of first impression, the Oregon Court of Appeals held that entering a passcode into a smartphone is testimonial in nature and subject to the self-incrimination protections of Article I, § 12 of the Oregon Constitution and the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. ...

Oregon Release Agreement Did Not Require Personal Appearance; FTA Conviction Reversed

by Mark Wilson

The Oregon Court of Appeals reversed a first-degree failure to appear conviction, finding that the release agreement allowed for an appearance through counsel rather than personal appearance.

Zachary Michael Lobue was detained in jail when the State of Oregon charged him with possession of a stolen vehicle ...

Oregon Prisoner’s Use of Another Prisoner’s Phone PIN Constitutes Identity Theft

by Mark Wilson

The Oregon Court of Appeals held on March 13, 2019 that a prisoner was guilty of the crime of identity theft because he used the personal identification numbers (PINs) of two other prisoners to access a jail telephone.

Michael Steven Connolly was confined at the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) in Portland, Oregon after violating a pretrial release agreement in a domestic violence case. The trial court prohibited him from contacting the alleged victim, identified only as K.

Nevertheless, while in jail, Connolly used the PINs of two other prisoners who were housed in his unit to call K five times. He used one prisoner’s PIN to make four calls and another PIN for one call. All of the calls were recorded.

Connolly was charged with five counts of identity theft for using the other prisoners’ PINs to place the phone calls.

An MCDC prisoner’s PIN is a combination of his jail identification number and date of birth. “A person commits the crime of identity theft if the person, with the intent to deceive or to defraud, obtains, possesses, transfers, creates, utters or converts to the person’s own use the personal identification of another person.” See: ORS ...

Oregon Transgender Prisoner Must be Housed Alone or with Other Transgender or Non­Cisgender Prisoners

by Mark Wilson

An Oregon state court held on May 28, 2019 that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to a transgender prisoner’s physical safety when they failed to house her in a single cell or with other transgender or non-cisgender (gender non-conforming) cellmates.

Brandy Hall, 34, formerly known as Brandon Nelson, entered prison in 2007 as a male. Hall was transferred to the Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla in 2009 and remained there until being transferred to the Oregon State Correctional Institution.

While incarcerated, Hall was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a condition in which people identify as a gender different from the one they were assigned at birth. Hall has presented as a woman since 2014 and has undergone hormone therapy since 2016, according to court records. As a result of that therapy, Hall has female physical features, including breasts. She also has changed her name to fit her gender identity.

In September 2018, Hall was approved for gender reassignment surgery; as of June 2019, however, she had not received surgery.

Hall also was recommended for transfer to Oregon’s only women’s prison, but that recommendation was denied by the Oregon Department of Corrections’ (ODOC) Transgender and Intersex Committee (TAIC). ...