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Articles by Mark Wilson

Black Drug Incarceration Drops 21.6%, White Rate Up 42.6%; Shift Driven by Decreasing Crack Cocaine Use, Increasing Meth Use

The number of people incarcerated in state prisons for drug offenses has increased an astronomical 1,150 percent since 1980, increasing from 40,000 to 500,000 prisoners, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics cited in a research paper by The Sentencing Project (TSP). The number of people now incarcerated for drug offenses ...

Oregon Prosecutes Teen to Avoid Liability; Bizarre 2 1/2 Year Legal Battle Ends

Oregon Prosecutes Teen to Avoid Liability; Bizarre 2 ½ Year Legal Battle Ends

by Mark Wilson

Seventeen year old David Simmons and his fourteen year old girlfriend began a sexual relationship which continued after they turned 18 and 15, respectively. The relationship ended, however, on September 27, 2006 when the ...

Oregon’s Criminal Justice Economic Recovery Plan: Keep Digging!

Like every other state, Oregon has been hit hard by the worst economic crisis in recent American history. Yet standing in an ever-deepening fiscal crater, prosecutors and victims’ rights groups keep handing out shovels and Oregonians stubbornly refuse to stop digging. This may not be what President Obama envisioned when ...

Poaching Boast Lands Oregon Prison Guard in Hot Water; Pulls State Trooper Father Down with Him

Pendleton, Oregon boys pride themselves on their hunting abilities. Deep in the heart of Oregon’s high desert, hunting is an age-old rite of passage and a way of life. Guards at Pendleton’s Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI) brag constantly about their hunting prowess, though they’re probably doing so much more ...

Ninth Circuit Flip-Flops: Denial of Washington Sex Offender’s Community Custody Release Held Unconstitutional, Then Constitutional

Ninth Circuit Flip-Flops: Denial of Washington Sex Offender’s Community Custody Release
Held Unconstitutional, Then Constitutional

by Mark Wilson

Illustrating the axiom that the law means whatever a judge decides it means, in a 2-to-1 decision, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Washington state law creates ...

Former Oregon DOC Food Manager Abandons Wife to Federal Prosecution; Herding Sheep in Iran While on the Lam

Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) Food Services Administrator Farhad “Fred” Monem and his wife, Karen, accepted over $1.3 million in bribes and kickbacks in the worst public corruption scandal in Oregon’s history. [See: PLN, Aug. 2008, p.1].

While contemplating a plea bargain that required significant prison time, Fred fled on ...

Oregon Jail Guards Lose Access to Porn Sites

Guards at the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) couldn’t be trusted to stay off Internet porn sites during work hours, so Sheriff Bob Skipper pulled the plug effective December 1, 2008.

Rampant, improper use of the Internet at the jail came to light in 2007 when a guard boasted on ...

First Circuit Awards Defendant Costs Under FRCP 68; Plaintiff Rejected $10,000 Offer, Was Awarded $5,500

First Circuit Awards Defendant Costs Under FRCP 68; Plaintiff Rejected ?$10,000 Offer, Was Awarded $5,500

by Mark Wilson

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has awarded a defendant costs under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 68, after a prisoner rejected a joint settlement offer of $10,000 and was subsequently ...

Empty Oregon Jail Has Cost $1.25 Million; Grand Jury Demands Humility and Creative Solutions

Empty Oregon Jail Has Cost $1.25 Million; Grand Jury Demands Humility and Creative Solutions

by Mark Wilson

The Wapato Jail in Multnomah County, Oregon was completed in 2004 at a cost of $58 million, but has sat empty ever since because the county can’t afford to operate the facility.
On ...

Sheriff “Hollywood Hewett” Sentenced to 16 Months

Sheriff “Hollywood Hewett” Sentenced to 16 Months

by Mark Wilson

Like a moth to a flame, North Carolina Sheriff Ronald Hewett had a fatal attraction to television cameras and the bright spotlight. In the end, “Hollywood Hewett’s” mistress betrayed him, exposing the flamboyant crime fighter as just another hypocritical, corrupt ...