2007 ORS § 163.105¹
Sentencing options for aggravated murder

Notwithstanding the provisions of ORS chapter 144 and ORS 421.450 (Definitions for ORS 421.455 to 421.480) to 421.490 (Work camps):

(1)(a) Except as otherwise provided in ORS 137.700 (Offenses requiring imposition of mandatory minimum sentences), when a defendant is convicted of aggravated murder as defined by ORS 163.095 ("Aggravated murder" defined), the defendant shall be sentenced, pursuant to ORS 163.150 (Sentencing for aggravated murder), to death, life imprisonment without the possibility of release or parole or life imprisonment.

(b) A person sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of release or parole under this section shall not have that sentence suspended, deferred or commuted by any judicial officer, and the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision may not parole the prisoner nor reduce the period of confinement in any manner whatsoever. The Department of Corrections or any executive official may not permit the prisoner to participate in any sort of release or furlough program.

(c) If sentenced to life imprisonment, the court shall order that the defendant shall be confined for a minimum of 30 years without possibility of parole, release to post-prison supervision, release on work release or any form of temporary leave or employment at a forest or work camp.

(2) At any time after completion of a minimum period of confinement pursuant to subsection (1)(c) of this section, the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision, upon the petition of a prisoner so confined, shall hold a hearing to determine if the prisoner is likely to be rehabilitated within a reasonable period of time. The sole issue is whether or not the prisoner is likely to be rehabilitated within a reasonable period of time. At the hearing, the prisoner has:

(a) The burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence the likelihood of rehabilitation within a reasonable period of time;

(b) The right, if the prisoner is without sufficient funds to employ an attorney, to be represented by legal counsel, appointed by the board, at board expense; and

(c) The right to a subpoena upon a showing of the general relevance and reasonable scope of the evidence sought, provided that any subpoena issued on behalf of the prisoner must be issued by the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision pursuant to rules adopted by the board.

(3) If, upon hearing all of the evidence, the board, upon a unanimous vote of all of its members, finds that the prisoner is capable of rehabilitation and that the terms of the prisoner’s confinement should be changed to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole, release to post-prison supervision or work release, it shall enter an order to that effect and the order shall convert the terms of the prisoner’s confinement to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole, release to post-prison supervision or work release and may set a release date. Otherwise the board shall deny the relief sought in the petition.

(4) The board’s final order shall be accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions of law. The findings of fact shall consist of a concise statement of the underlying facts supporting the findings as to each contested issue of fact and as to each ultimate fact required to support the board’s order.

(5) Not less than two years after the denial of the relief sought in a petition under this section, the prisoner may petition again for a change in the terms of confinement. Further petitions for a change may be filed at intervals of not less than two years thereafter. [1977 c.370 §2; 1981 c.873 §4; 1985 c.3 §1; 1987 c.158 §23; 1987 c.803 §20; 1989 c.720 §1; 1991 c.126 §8; 1995 c.421 §2; 1999 c.59 §31; 1999 c.782 §5; 2007 c.717 §1]

Note: Section 4, chapter 717, Oregon Laws 2007, provides:

Sec. 4. (1) The amendments to ORS 144.110 (Restriction on parole of persons sentenced to minimum terms), 163.105 (Sentencing options for aggravated murder) and 163.115 (Murder) by sections 1, 2 and 3 of this 2007 Act apply to hearings conducted on or after the effective date of this 2007 Act [June 28, 2007].

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, the amendments to ORS 144.110 (Restriction on parole of persons sentenced to minimum terms), 163.105 (Sentencing options for aggravated murder) and 163.115 (Murder) by sections 1, 2 and 3 of this 2007 Act do not apply to hearings conducted on or after the effective date of this 2007 Act if:

(a) The prisoner has petitioned the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision for a hearing under ORS 163.105 (Sentencing options for aggravated murder) or 163.115 (Murder) prior to the effective date of this 2007 Act;

(b) The prisoner was eligible for a hearing at the time the petition was filed; and

(c) The prisoner has not been granted a hearing on the petition that was filed prior to the effective date of this 2007 Act. [2007 c.717 §4]