2017 ORS 161.025¹
  • principles of construction

(1) The general purposes of chapter 743, Oregon Laws 1971, are:

(a) To insure the public safety by preventing the commission of offenses through the deterrent influence of the sentences authorized, the correction and rehabilitation of those convicted, and their confinement when required in the interests of public protection.

(b) To forbid and prevent conduct that unjustifiably and inexcusably inflicts or threatens substantial harm to individual or public interests.

(c) To give fair warning of the nature of the conduct declared to constitute an offense and of the sentences authorized upon conviction.

(d) To define the act or omission and the accompanying mental state that constitute each offense and limit the condemnation of conduct as criminal when it is without fault.

(e) To differentiate on reasonable grounds between serious and minor offenses.

(f) To prescribe penalties which are proportionate to the seriousness of offenses and which permit recognition of differences in rehabilitation possibilities among individual offenders.

(g) To safeguard offenders against excessive, disproportionate or arbitrary punishment.

(2) The rule that a penal statute is to be strictly construed shall not apply to chapter 743, Oregon Laws 1971, or any of its provisions. Chapter 743, Oregon Laws 1971, shall be construed according to the fair import of its terms, to promote justice and to effect the purposes stated in subsection (1) of this section. [1971 c.743 §2]

Note: See note under 161.015 (General definitions).

Notes of Decisions

Imposi­tion of mandatory min­i­mum sen­tences under ORS 144.110 (Restriction on parole of persons sentenced to minimum terms) does not violate propor­tionality require­ments of this sec­tion. State v. Turner, 296 Or 451, 676 P2d 873 (1984)

This sec­tion, in prohibiting “frequenting a place where controlled substances are used” is not unconstitu­tionally vague under U.S. or Oregon Constitu­tion. State v. Pyritz, 90 Or App 601, 752 P2d 1310 (1988)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Construing motor vehicle law as a crim­i­nal statute, (1971) Vol 35, p 832

Law Review Cita­tions

50 OLR 313 (1971); 51 OLR 428 (1972)

Chapter 161

Notes of Decisions

A juvenile court adjudica­tion of whether or not a child committed acts which would be a crim­i­nal viola­tion if committed by an adult must necessarily include an adjudica­tion of all af­firm­a­tive de­fenses that would be available to an adult being tried for the same crim­i­nal viola­tion. State ex rel Juvenile Dept. v. L.J., 26 Or App 461, 552 P2d 1322 (1976)

Law Review Cita­tions

2 EL 237 (1971); 51 OLR 427-637 (1972)

Chapter 161

Criminal Code


Notes of Decisions

Legislature’s adop­tion of 1971 Criminal Code did not abolish doctrine of transferred intent. State v. Wesley, 254 Or App 697, 295 P3d 1147 (2013), Sup Ct review denied

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 161—General Provisions, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors161.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 161, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano161.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.