Oregon Democratic Gov. Kate Brown agrees to halt clemency for felons until lawsuit plays out, lawyer says

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Oregon Democratic Gov. Kate Brown agrees to halt clemency for felons until lawsuit plays out, lawyer says

[ad_1] Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has agreed to stop granting clemency for felons between Feb. 2 and March 2, according to a lawyer for a gro

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Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has agreed to stop granting clemency for felons between Feb. 2 and March 2, according to a lawyer for a group of murder victims’ relatives who are suing the governor over her progressive pardon policy. 

Kevin Mannix, whose law firm is representing some of the plaintiffs, said the case is expected to be resolved by then.

A judge on Monday ordered the governor and state agencies named in the suit to respond by Feb. 16 and scheduled a hearing for Feb. 28.

Kate Brown, governor of Oregon, speaks during an interview in Portland, Oregon, U.S. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Kate Brown, governor of Oregon, speaks during an interview in Portland, Oregon, U.S. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Photographer: Meg Roussos/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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OREGON CHRISTMAS KILLER COULD GO FREE AFTER JUST 14 YEARS OF 25 TO LIFE SENTENCE IF GOV. BROWN GRANTS CLEMENCY

“Our clients, particularly our surviving victims, feel very hopeful and view the Court’s order as a good sign that they are finally being heard and that the law will be enforced,” Monique DeSpain, another attorney at the Mannix Law Firm, told Fox News Digital Tuesday.

In addition to failing to properly notify victims’ families, the suit alleges, the governor unlawfully delegated her clemency powers to state agencies, including the Oregon Board of Parole.

Gov. Brown’s office said it does not comment on pending litigation. 

The two Oregon district attorneys involved in the lawsuit are Lane County’s Patricia Perlow and Linn County’s Doug Marteeny. Joining them in the lawsuit are the relatives of three murder victims.

Randy Tennant’s mother was stabbed to death by her own grandson, Andrew Johnson, when he was 17. He stabbed her in the neck and head 10 times, then stole $2,000 and went on a shopping spree. He has served seven years of a 25-to-life sentence.

Samuel Williams lost his developmentally disabled daughter, Jessica, when three teens stabbed her under Portland’s Steel Bridge, “mutilated” her body and lit it on fire. Richard Alsup served 16 years of a 25-to-life sentence. Amy Jones, Williams’ surviving daughter, is also a plaintiff in the suit.

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Melissa Grassl found her partner, Austin French, shot dead in their bedroom on Halloween 2006. His brother, Cayche French, has served 14 years on a 25-to-life sentence.

“I just want to know why I, or any of the other victims, don’t seem to matter to the governor,” Grassl said Monday.

The family of Dale Rost III, who was robbed and murdered two days before Christmas in 2005, is not involved in the lawsuit but hopes Brown will deny a clemency request from one of his killers.

Justin Olson, Rost’s son-in-law, said the governor’s month off from pardoning felons is “temporarily good news.”

OREGON DEMOCRATIC GOV. KATE BROWN’S CLEMENCY PUSH COMES AMID SPIKE IN VIOLENT CRIME

Lynley Rayburn, who pleaded guilty to her role in Rost’s death in 2006, has submitted an application for clemency after serving roughly half of the minimum sentence on her 27.5 years to life sentence for her role in Rost’s murder.

As Fox News Digital has reported, Rayburn admitted to sneaking up Rost’s driveway in the middle of the night two days before Christmas in 2005 with her then-boyfriend Gerard “AJ” Smith, who was high on meth and carrying a rifle.

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They tied up Rost at gunpoint, ransacked his home and shot him before leaving, according to court documents. Then they stole his car and went for a joyride, using his credit and debit cards.

Brown’s office said earlier this month she had not yet come to a decision on Rayburn’s request for clemency. 

“My wife wants closure on this, so a denial of clemency would be better than another delayed decision,” Olson told Fox News Digital.

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