Monday, 11 January 2010

Lane County judge denied the appeal of the woman known as "Gang Mom."

Lane County judge denied the appeal of the woman known as "Gang Mom."Getting out of prison early was a possibility for Mary Thompson under the new "earned time" law.
Thompson is serving 25 years for the murder of Eugene teenager Aaron Iturra back in 1994. Friday, a judge made it clear she is going to serve as much of that term as possible.The smile never left Janyce Iturra's face after the judge said no to shortening the sentence of her son's murderer."And for her to speak to me, and not to the crowd or the attorneys, but to me personally, it made me feel like she really did understand what this does to victims throughout the state of Oregon."The Iturra case highlights the nearly 4,800 cases re-opening in Oregon county courts because of new law 3508. It's also re-opening old wounds."You finally move on, things are going ok, you finally get your family back together, and bam, the system just bites me one more time."The bill aims to give a 10 percent reduction to prisoners' sentences for their non-violent crimes. But the judge determined Thompson's non-violent charges of burglary and hindering prosecution were connected to the murder, and therefore not excusable.
"It just does my heart good to know Mary is denied and will do that extra 10 months that it might have changed," Iturra said.Crime Victims United, a victim advocate group, hopes this outcome sets the standard for upcoming hearings. President Steve Doell said all you have to do is look at the unintended consequences the state of Washington is dealing with related to a similar law there."The property crime rate for each indidivual that got the extra earn time went up 4.7 times per offender. So this is not good public policy, this is not good for law-abiding citizens."Thompson has already received a reduction of 20 percent, which is available to prisoners who behave, so Iturra said she was shocked that another reduction was considered. This bill is going back to the special session next month for re-consideration.


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