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Haugen 6560; State's Response to Mtn for Judgment on the Pleadings

Haugen 6560; State's Response to Mtn for Judgment on the Pleadings

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Published by: Statesman Journal on Jul 22, 2012
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6GARYD.HAUGEN,INTHECIRCUITCOURTOFTHESTATEOFOREGONFORTHECOUNTYOFMARION7
89
1011
12
INTRODUCTION
Plaintiff,DEFENDANrsRESPONSETOPLAINTIFF'SMOTIONFORJUDGMENTONTHEPLEADINGS'CaseNo.12C16560
v.
JOHNKITZHABER,GovernoroftheStateofOregon,Defendant.
ORS20.140-State
fees
deferredatfiling
13
Inthisdeclaratoryjudgmentaction,plaintiffchallengesGovernor
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Kitzhaber'sreprieveofthedeathsentenceimposedinhiscase.Plaintiffalleges
15
thatthereprieveisunlawfulbecauseitisforanunspecifiedperiodoftimeand
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becausehedidnotconsenttothereprieve.Plaintiffhasmovedforjudgmenton
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thepleadingspursuanttoORCP21Bcontendingthat,basedonthemattersalleged
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andadmittedintheparties'pleadings,heisentitledtojudgmentasamatteroflaw.
19
Defendantagreeswithplaintiffthatthiscourtmayresolvethiscaseonthe
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pleadings,butcontendsthatthiscourt,asamatteroflaw,mustdismissplaintiffs
21
claim.
22
Asexplainedbelow,theGovernorhassoleauthorityanddiscretionto
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determinewhethertograntclemencyandinwhatform.Contrarytoplaintiffs
24
claims,theGovernor'sreprieverequiresneitherlimitationbyadatecertainnorthe
25
prisoner'sacceptanceorconsent.
26Page1-DEFENDANrSRESPONSETOPLAINTIFF'SMOTIONFORJUDGMENTONTHEPLEADINGS
MJD/jm8/349286v1
DepartmentofJustice1162CourtStreetNESalem,OR97301-4096(503)947-4700
I
Fax:(503)947-4792
 
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DISCUSSION
A.
TheGovernor'sauthoritytograntclemencyisbroad;thiscourt's
authority
toreviewtheGovernor'sgrantofclemencyis,inturn,
quite
narrow.
Beforeexplainingwhyplaintiffsargumentsfailateachturn,abrief
5
discussionaboutthelimitsofthiscourt'sreviewiswarranted.ArticleV,section14,oftheOregonConstitutionveststheGovernorwithabroadpowertograntclemency:
6789
Heshallhavethepowertograntreprieves,commutationsandpardons)afterconviction,foralloffences
[sic]
excepttreason,subiecttosuchregulationsasmaybeprovidedbylaw.
**
';)<
1011
12
13141516
Underthatprovision,theGovernorhasbroadauthoritytoimposeunconditionalgrantsofclemency,andalsoimposeconditionsonagrantofclemencyorrevoketheclemencyifanyofitsconditionsarebreached.
SeeCarpenter
v.
Lord,
88Or128,171P577(1918);
ExparteHoughton,
49Or232,89P801(1907);
Woodv.Fitzgerald,
3Or568(1870).
Seealso
Deady,GeneralLawsofOregon,1845-1864,chXXXIII,§333(1866)("Thegovernorhasthe
17
powertograntreprieves,commutationsandpardons,afterconviction,forall
18
crimes
*
**
uponsuchconditionsandwithsuchrestrictionsandlimitationsashe
19
maythinkproper].]").
20
Thepowertograntclemencycannotbesecond-guessedbyeitherthe
21
legislativeorjudicialbranch.Althoughthelegislaturecanregulatetheprocedures
22
aGovernormustfollowtograntclemency,'thelegislatureiswithoutauthorityto
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restrictorremovetheGovernor'sauthoritytograntclemency.
Fredericks,
211Or
242526
1
ArticleV,section14,expresslypermitsthelegislaturetoregulatetheproceduresrelatingtoclemenc_y.AgovernorisrequiredtocomplywiththeprovisionsofORS144.649-.670,whenapplicable.
Page2-DEFENDANT'SRESPONSETOPLAINTIFF'SMOTIONFORJUDGMENTONTHEPLEADINGS
MJD/jm8/3492869-vl
DepartmentofJustice
1162CourtStreetNESalem,OR97304096(503)947·4700
I
Fax:(503)947-4792
 
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at320("Thepowertopardoncanneitherberestrictednortakenawayby
2
legislativeaction.")(internalquotationmarksandcitationomitted).
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Thejudicialbranchiswithoutauthoritytoapprove,prohibit,orrestrictagrantof
4
clemency.
Eaeret
v.
Holmes,
215Or121,125-26,333P2d741(1958).
5
Concomitantly,iftheGovernorhasactedwithintheauthorityconferredon
6
himbyArticleV,section14,tograntplaintiffareprieve,hisreasonsfordoingso
7
arenotsubjecttofurtherjudicialreview:
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WheretheconstitutionthusconfersunlimitedpowerontheGovernortograntreprieves,commutations
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andpardons,hisdiscretioncannotbecontrolledbyjudicialdecision.Thecourtshavenoauthoritytoinquire
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mtothereasonsormotiveswhichactuatetheGovernorinexercisingthepower,norcantheydeclinetogiveeffect
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toapardonforanabuseofdiscretion.
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Eaeret,
215Orat127.
SeealsoInreHooker,
87So3d401,406(2012)
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(concluding,inthecontextofgubernatorialpardons,thatunder
Marbury
v.
14
Madison,S
US(1Cranch)137,2LEd60(1803),anditsprogeny,"casesand
15
controversiesinvolvinginterpretationandadjudicationofconstitutionalprovisions
16
thataretextuallycommittedtoanotherbranchofgovernmentarenonjusticiable").
17
Therefore,providedtheGovernoractswithinhisconstitutionalauthority,
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ArticleV,section14,empowershimtodecidewhethertograntclemencyandto
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determinewhatkindofclemencytogrant,andhisreasonsfordoingsoaresolely
20
withinhisdiscretionandthepurviewoftheexecutivebranch.Thejudicialbranch
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iswithoutauthoritytoapprove,prohibit,orrestrictagrantofclemency.
Holmes,
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215Orat125-26.
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Thiscourt'sreviewoftheGovernor'sreprieveinthiscase,then,isquite
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limited:onlyifthiscourtconcludesthattheGovernorlackedtheauthoritytogrant
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plaintiffareprievecanitgrantplaintiffsrequestthatthiscourtdeclarethe
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Governor'sreprieveineffective.Asexplainedbelow,theGovernor'sauthorityto
Page3-DEFENDANT'SRESPONSETOPLAINTIFF'SMOTIONFORJUDGMENTONTHEPLEADINGS
MJD/jm8/3492869-vl
DepartmentofJustice1162CourtStreetNESalem,OR97301-4096(503)947-4700/Fax:
(503)947-4792

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