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Oregon Supreme Court - December 6, 2018

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by: Rankin Johnson IV • December 11, 2018 • no comments

Summarized by Rankin Johnson, OCDLA

SELF-INCRIMINATION — Voluntariness

State's appeal. Trial court did not err in excluding defendant's statements as involuntary. Affirmed.

Defendant, who suffered from schizophrenia and other significant health problems, was questioned over the course of two days about murders that took place more than 30 years ago and to which his DNA was connected. He received Miranda warnings at the outset. His requests to call his family were refused. Police told him that the evidence against him was overwhelming, he was sure to be convicted, and that it would go better for him if he confessed.

State v. Jackson 364 Or 1 (December 6, 2018) (Walters) (Multnomah County, Greenlick)

DOUBLE JEOPARDY — Inchoate and completed crimes

Defendant's attempt to solicit aggravated murder was not also attempted aggravated murder, because to 'attempt' a crime, one must intend to commit it personally. Reversed and remanded for further proceedings.

The court discussed statutory text and context at length, including commentaries to the 1971 criminal code and commentators cited therein. The court explained, based on the commentary and on common-law traditions, that soliciting another person to commit a crime was not a substantial step, for purposes of the attempt, unless the other person was an "innocent agent."

The court concluded that solicitation and attempt would not typically overlap.

State v. Kimbrough 364 Or 66 (December 6, 2018) (Balmer) (Wasco County, Neilson)

SEARCH AND SEIZURE — Traffic stops

Officer's questioning of defendant, a passenger in a stopped vehicle, constituted an unlawful stop. Reversed and remanded.

The court rejected defendant's proposed rule that a passenger in a stopped car is stopped, but concluded that, on the facts, defendant had been stopped.

State v. Stevens 364 Or 91 (December 6, 2018) (Kistler) (Douglas County, Simmons)

TRIAL PROCEDURE — Joinder

Indictment was defective in failing to allege basis for joinder, but any error was harmless. Affirmed.

The Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals that the basis to join multiple offenses must be alleged in the indictment, that a demurrer is a proper way to raise the issue, and that improper joint trial in this case did not prejudice defendant.

J. Flynn, concurring, disagreed that a demurrer can be used to attack improper joinder.

State v. Warren 364 Or 105 (December 6, 2018) (Duncan, Flynn concurring) (Washington County, Kohl)