Oregon v. Ryan

Defendant, who was intellectually disabled, made an as-applied challenge to his 75-month mandatory minimum prison sentence for first-degree sexual abuse, on the ground that it violates Article I, section 16, of the Oregon Constitution, and the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibit sentences that are disproportionate to the offense for which they are imposed. The trial court noted that defendant was intellectually disabled, but the court did not indicate that it had considered that factor in its proportionality analysis, and the court ruled that it lacked authority to consider the availability of rehabilitative treatment for defendant in a nonincarcerative setting, unless it first could conclude that the prison term mandated by ORS 137.700(2)(a)(P) (“Measure 11”) was disproportionate. The court concluded that the Measure 11 sentence was not disproportionate. The Court of Appeals affirmed without opinion. The Oregon Supreme Court concluded the trial court erred when it compared the gravity of defendant’s offense and the severity of the Measure 11 sentence, because the court failed to consider evidence of defendant’s intellectual disability when that evidence, if credited, would establish that the sentence would be arguably unconstitutional because it shows that defendant’s age-specific intellectual capacity fell below the minimum age level of criminal responsibility for a child. However, the Court declined to consider defendant’s argument on review that the availability of rehabilitative treatment was relevant to the gravity of his offense, because defendant failed to adequately develop that argument within the context of this court’s analytical framework for proportionality challenges under Article I, section 16. View "Oregon v. Ryan" on Justia Law