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Drazan Urges Governor To Put Public Safety, Victims’ Rights Ahead Of Politics

Governor acted in violation of constitution, jeopardized public safety with unprecedented wave of prison commutations

Canby, Ore. – Former state representative and House Republican leader Christine Drazan today urged Governor Kate Brown to put public safety and victims’ rights ahead of her own political agenda by putting an end to her unprecedented wave of prison commutations. The governor’s commutations are temporarily on hold amid litigation prompted by district attorneys and victims’ rights advocates.

“The victims of these crimes and their families have a right to justice,” said Drazan. “That justice has been compromised by a governor who thinks the rules don’t apply to her and that she can simply overrule our judicial system with the stroke of the pen. I’m grateful that our district attorneys and these Oregonians have stepped up to hold the governor accountable for her unconstitutional actions.”

Governor Brown has released nearly 1,000 convicted criminals in recent months. The commutations have included convicted murders, rapists, and other violent criminals. Drazan previously urged the governor to revoke her commutation of Melvin Tillman who, despite more than 50 prior felony convictions, was granted early release and subsequently reoffended. Victims and their families have repeatedly spoken out against the governor’s commutations, with many suggesting they were not properly informed of the pending releases.

“Governor Brown failed to follow the appropriate legal process and fundamentally undermined justice in our communities,” said Drazan. “I urge her to put public safety and victims’ rights ahead of her own personal political agenda by ending her blanket commutations.”

According to an agreement reached between plaintiffs and the state, no new clemency orders shall be issued between February 2 and March 2. The state must respond to the lawsuit by February 16, with a court hearing scheduled for February 28 to resolve the matter.