- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Sentencing
- Date Filed: 10-27-2021
- Case #: A167617
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Tookey, J.; & Aoyagi, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed the trial court’s imposition of a 300-month prison term under ORS 137.690. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s reliance upon its own fact-finding—rather than the jury—when it determined the convictions were separate criminal episodes. On appeal, Defendant argued that, under Apprendi v. New Jersey, the jury must have made the factual finding regarding whether his rape convictions arose as part of a single criminal episode. In response, the State argued that Apprendi only applies to sentence-enhancement provisions, not provisions that mitigate or limit application of sentence based on factual findings, like ORS 137.690. Any fact that increases a criminal penalty past a statutory maximum must be a fact found by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 US 466, 490, 120 S Ct 2348, 147 L Ed 2d 435 (2000). The Court held that ORS 137.690 imposes an increased sentence upon findings of facts, and therefore the factual determination of separate or single criminal episodes should have been made by the jury. Further, the Court held that the error was not harmless due to the prosecution’s theory of the case. Remanded for resentencing; otherwise affirmed.