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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Justice Committee Focuses on Minimum Sentencing Laws, Family Camp Timber Sale at January Meeting

Justice Committee Focuses on Minimum Sentencing Laws, Family Camp Timber Sale at January Meeting

Present:  Mike Kohlhoff (Chair), Michael Dewitt, Greg Hunt, Klaus and Cornelia Gibson, Don Klosterman, Connie Lee, Mary Post and Pacific Stensels

Cornelia reported on recent action by the Oregon Chapter of the grassroots group, Moms Demand Action, which supports a bill requiring the owner or possessor of firearms to secure them with a trigger- or cable-lock or in locked container. HB 2505 failed to pass in the 2019 legislative session but will be introduced when the 2020 session begins.

From the Racial Justice Sub-Committee
Connie announced she plans to pursue information about the program known as CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance: Helping Out on the Streets), which is now being used in Eugene and Portland.

From the Social Justice Sub-Committee
Mandatory minimum sentencing laws, which force a judge to hand down a minimum prison
sentence based on the charges a prosecutor brings against a defendant that result in a conviction — usually a guilty plea — unfairly target women of color. Eliminating mandatory minimums would also be cost effective.  Greg will work on a resolution recommending that Clackamas County eliminate mandatory minimums.

Oregon Civil Defense Force currently excludes individuals with disabilities. Mike pointed to
the Democratic Party’s Disability Caucus; Pacific plans to attend a caucus meeting to learn more.

From the Environmental Justice Sub-Committee
A number of citizens attended the Advisory Committee meeting for the Family Camp Timber Sale. They questioned the wisdom of clear-cutting and replanting with single species. Despite these concerns, the committee voted 5 to 1 to approve the plan to harvest 1.6 million board feet of timber from 50 acres of land,which is located about 16 miles south of Molalla. The Committee did agree to include the citizens’ input into the minutes submitted to Clackamas County Commissioners.