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Oregon Supreme Court 03-28-10

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by: Abassos • March 28, 2010 • no comments

Read the full article for details about the following new cases:

  • Felony Murder - Mens Rea
  • Felony Assault IV - Witnessed by a Child - "directly perceives
  • Forgery - Merger

Every time I go on a little vacation, the Oregon Supreme Court releases multiple cases. Is the Oregon Supreme Court tracking my every move? You decide. I'm just putting the question out there, Glenn Beck style.


Felony Murder - Mens Rea===

The state is not required to prove a mental state with regard to the victim's death in order to establish the elements of Felony Murder. The mens rea for the underlying felony (e.g., Burglary or Rape) satisfies the mens rea element required for homicide. State v. Blair


Felony Assault IV - Witnessed by a Child - "directly perceives"===

A child may directly perceive an assault by hearing it occur if the child is aware of the assault, not just the sounds. In this case, there was screaming and cussing just outside the child's door, followed directly by the defendant cracking his head against the victim's head so hard that her head crashed against the child's door and the victim fell to the ground. A rational trier of fact could find that the child perceived the screaming, cracking and crashing as an assault even though the child didn't testify. State v. Rader


Forgery - Merger===

A conviction for Possession of a Forged Instrument merges into a conviction for Forgery because all the elements of PFI are subsumed within the elements of Forgery. The S.Ct. had to make two fairly obvious findings that we've been losing for years (and lost again in this case at the trial and appellate level): (1) you can't utter something without possessing it; and (2) you can't utter with the intent to defraud without also intending to utter. State v. Blake