Restorative Justice and Criminal Legal Reform
Tony Hopson Sr, Governor Kate Brown and Joe McFerrin. Photo by Antonio Harris.
Last Thursday hosts and sponsors Tony Hopson Sr., Joe McFerrin, Tiffani Penson, Johnell Bell & Antoinette Edwards and community members came together to honor Governor Kate Brown and celebrated the important People she commuted. Governors have always had clemency powers, such as criminal fine and debt forgiveness, sentence reductions, and pardons. This has not been taken advantage of over the past few decades.
Governor Brown commuted the sentences of about 1,000 people to reduce COVID-19 related health risks in prisons and to recognize the incarcerated Oregonians who fought wildfires in 2020. Gov. Brown also commuted the sentences of all 17 individuals on the state’s death row to life in prison without the possibility of parole and ordered the death chamber dismantled. She granted 47,274 pardons on marijuana charges and forgave $1.8 million in unpaid court fines and fees in traffic violations that were preventing nearly 7,000 Oregonians from getting their driver’s license reinstated. According to Oregon Public Broadcasting reports. Brown has used her power of clemency more than any of the state's previous governors.