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THE OREGON CRIMINAL LAW GUIDE

MAIN PAGE OREGON MANSLAUGHTER LAWYER OREGON DUI OREGON BALLOT MEASURE 11 GUIDE
OREGON REVISED STATUTES

OREGON MURDER, MANSLAUGHTER AND OTHER HOMICIDE CRIMES

   ORS 163.005 Criminal homicide. (1) A person commits criminal homicide if, without justification or excuse, the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence causes the death of another human being.

   (2) “Criminal homicide” is murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide or aggravated vehicular homicide.

   (3) “Human being” means a person who has been born and was alive at the time of the criminal act. [1971 c.743 §87; 2007 c.867 §4]

   ORS 163.095 “Aggravated murder” defined. As used in ORS 163.105 and this section, “aggravated murder” means murder as defined in ORS 163.115 which is committed under, or accompanied by, any of the following circumstances:

   (1)(a) The defendant committed the murder pursuant to an agreement that the defendant receive money or other thing of value for committing the murder.

   (b) The defendant solicited another to commit the murder and paid or agreed to pay the person money or other thing of value for committing the murder.

   (c) The defendant committed murder after having been convicted previously in any jurisdiction of any homicide, the elements of which constitute the crime of murder as defined in ORS 163.115 or manslaughter in the first degree as defined in ORS 163.118.

   (d) There was more than one murder victim in the same criminal episode as defined in ORS 131.505.

   (e) The homicide occurred in the course of or as a result of intentional maiming or torture of the victim.

   (f) The victim of the intentional homicide was a person under the age of 14 years.

   (2)(a) The victim was one of the following and the murder was related to the performance of the victim’s official duties in the justice system:

   (A) A police officer as defined in ORS 181.610;

   (B) A correctional, parole and probation officer or other person charged with the duty of custody, control or supervision of convicted persons;

   (C) A member of the Oregon State Police;

   (D) A judicial officer as defined in ORS 1.210;

   (E) A juror or witness in a criminal proceeding;

   (F) An employee or officer of a court of justice; or

   (G) A member of the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision.

   (b) The defendant was confined in a state, county or municipal penal or correctional facility or was otherwise in custody when the murder occurred.

   (c) The defendant committed murder by means of an explosive as defined in ORS 164.055.

   (d) Notwithstanding ORS 163.115 (1)(b), the defendant personally and intentionally committed the homicide under the circumstances set forth in ORS 163.115 (1)(b).

   (e) The murder was committed in an effort to conceal the commission of a crime, or to conceal the identity of the perpetrator of a crime.

   (f) The murder was committed after the defendant had escaped from a state, county or municipal penal or correctional facility and before the defendant had been returned to the custody of the facility. [1977 c.370 §1; 1981 c.873 §1; 1991 c.742 §13; 1991 c.837 §12; 1993 c.185 §20; 1993 c.623 §2; 1997 c.850 §1; 2005 c.264 §17]

   ORS 163.115 Murder; affirmative defense to certain felony murders; sentence of life imprisonment required; minimum term. (1) Except as provided in ORS 163.118 and 163.125, criminal homicide constitutes murder:

   (a) When it is committed intentionally, except that it is an affirmative defense that, at the time of the homicide, the defendant was under the influence of an extreme emotional disturbance;

   (b) When it is committed by a person, acting either alone or with one or more persons, who commits or attempts to commit any of the following crimes and in the course of and in furtherance of the crime the person is committing or attempting to commit, or during the immediate flight therefrom, the person, or another participant if there be any, causes the death of a person other than one of the participants:

   (A) Arson in the first degree as defined in ORS 164.325;

   (B) Criminal mischief in the first degree by means of an explosive as defined in ORS 164.365;

   (C) Burglary in the first degree as defined in ORS 164.225;

   (D) Escape in the first degree as defined in ORS 162.165;

   (E) Kidnapping in the second degree as defined in ORS 163.225;

   (F) Kidnapping in the first degree as defined in ORS 163.235;

   (G) Robbery in the first degree as defined in ORS 164.415;

   (H) Any felony sexual offense in the first degree defined in this chapter;

   (I) Compelling prostitution as defined in ORS 167.017; or

   (J) Assault in the first degree, as defined in ORS 163.185, and the victim is under 14 years of age, or assault in the second degree, as defined in ORS 163.175 (1)(a) or (b), and the victim is under 14 years of age; or

   (c) By abuse when a person, recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, causes the death of a child under 14 years of age or a dependent person, as defined in ORS 163.205, and:

   (A) The person has previously engaged in a pattern or practice of assault or torture of the victim or another child under 14 years of age or a dependent person; or

   (B) The person causes the death by neglect or maltreatment.

   (2) An accusatory instrument alleging murder by abuse under subsection (1)(c) of this section need not allege specific incidents of assault or torture.

   (3) It is an affirmative defense to a charge of violating subsection (1)(b) of this section that the defendant:

   (a) Was not the only participant in the underlying crime;

   (b) Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request, command, importune, cause or aid in the commission thereof;

   (c) Was not armed with a dangerous or deadly weapon;

   (d) Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant was armed with a dangerous or deadly weapon; and

   (e) Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death.

   (4) It is an affirmative defense to a charge of violating subsection (1)(c)(B) of this section that the victim was a dependent person who was at least 18 years of age and was under care or treatment solely by spiritual means pursuant to the religious beliefs or practices of the dependent person or the guardian of the dependent person.

   (5)(a) Except as otherwise provided in ORS 163.155, a person convicted of murder, who was at least 15 years of age at the time of committing the murder, shall be punished by imprisonment for life.

   (b) When a defendant is convicted of murder under this section, the court shall order that the defendant shall be confined for a minimum of 25 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.

   (c) At any time after completion of a minimum period of confinement pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subsection, 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 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.

   (d) 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.

   (e) If the board denies the relief sought in the petition, the board shall determine the date of the subsequent hearing, and the prisoner may petition for an interim hearing, in accordance with ORS 144.285.

   (f) 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.

   (6) As used in this section:

   (a) “Assault” means to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause physical injury to another person. “Assault” does not include the causing of physical injury in a motor vehicle accident that occurs by reason of the reckless conduct of a defendant.

   (b) “Neglect or maltreatment” means a violation of ORS 163.535, 163.545 or 163.547 or a failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter or medical care that is likely to endanger the health or welfare of a child under 14 years of age or a dependent person. This paragraph is not intended to replace or affect the duty or standard of care required under ORS chapter 677.

   (c) “Pattern or practice” means one or more previous episodes.

   (d) “Torture” means to intentionally inflict intense physical pain upon an unwilling victim as a separate objective apart from any other purpose. [1971 c.743 §88; 1975 c.577 §1; 1979 c.2 §1; 1981 c.873 §5; 1985 c.763 §1; 1989 c.985 §1; 1993 c.664 §1; 1995 c.421 §3; 1995 c.657 §1; 1997 c.850 §2; 1999 c.782 §4; 2007 c.717 §2; 2009 c.660 §7; 2009 c.785 §1; 2011 c.291 §1]

   ORS 163.117 Causing or aiding suicide as defense to charge of murder. It is a defense to a charge of murder that the defendant’s conduct consisted of causing or aiding, without the use of duress or deception, another person to commit suicide. Nothing contained in this section shall constitute a defense to a prosecution for, or preclude a conviction of, manslaughter or any other crime. [1981 c.873 §8]

   ORS 163.118 Manslaughter in the first degree. [Known as Manslaughter I or Man. I] (1) Criminal homicide constitutes manslaughter in the first degree when:

   (a) It is committed recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life;

   (b) It is committed intentionally by a defendant under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance as provided in ORS 163.135, which constitutes a mitigating circumstance reducing the homicide that would otherwise be murder to manslaughter in the first degree and need not be proved in any prosecution;

   (c) A person recklessly causes the death of a child under 14 years of age or a dependent person, as defined in ORS 163.205, and:

   (A) The person has previously engaged in a pattern or practice of assault or torture of the victim or another child under 14 years of age or a dependent person; or

   (B) The person causes the death by neglect or maltreatment, as defined in ORS 163.115; or

   (d) It is committed recklessly or with criminal negligence by a person operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants in violation of ORS 813.010 and:

   (A) The person has at least three previous convictions for driving while under the influence of intoxicants under ORS 813.010, or its statutory counterpart in any jurisdiction, in the 10 years prior to the date of the current offense; or

   (B)(i) The person has a previous conviction for any of the crimes described in subsection (2) of this section, or their statutory counterparts in any jurisdiction; and

   (ii) The victim’s serious physical injury in the previous conviction was caused by the person driving a motor vehicle.

   (2) The previous convictions to which subsection (1)(d)(B) of this section applies are:

   (a) Assault in the first degree under ORS 163.185;

   (b) Assault in the second degree under ORS 163.175; or

   (c) Assault in the third degree under ORS 163.165.

   (3) Manslaughter in the first degree is a Class A felony.

   (4) It is an affirmative defense to a charge of violating:

   (a) Subsection (1)(c)(B) of this section that the victim was a dependent person who was at least 18 years of age and was under care or treatment solely by spiritual means pursuant to the religious beliefs or practices of the dependent person or the guardian of the dependent person.

   (b) Subsection (1)(d)(B) of this section that the defendant was not under the influence of intoxicants at the time of the conduct that resulted in the previous conviction. [1975 c.577 §2; 1981 c.873 §6; 1997 c.850 §3; 2007 c.867 §2; 2011 c.291 §2] 

   ORS 163.125 Manslaughter in the second degree. [Known as Manslaughter II or Man. II] (1) Criminal homicide constitutes manslaughter in the second degree when:

   (a) It is committed recklessly;

   (b) A person intentionally causes or aids another person to commit suicide; or

   (c) A person, with criminal negligence, causes the death of a child under 14 years of age or a dependent person, as defined in ORS 163.205, and:

   (A) The person has previously engaged in a pattern or practice of assault or torture of the victim or another child under 14 years of age or a dependent person; or

   (B) The person causes the death by neglect or maltreatment, as defined in ORS 163.115.

   (2) Manslaughter in the second degree is a Class B felony. [1971 c.743 §89; 1975 c.577 §3; 1997 c.850 §4; 1999 c.954 §1] 

   ORS 163.135 Extreme emotional disturbance as affirmative defense to murder; notice of expert testimony; right of state to psychiatric or psychological examination. (1) It is an affirmative defense to murder for purposes of ORS 163.115 (1)(a) that the homicide was committed under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance if the disturbance is not the result of the person’s own intentional, knowing, reckless or criminally negligent act and if there is a reasonable explanation for the disturbance. The reasonableness of the explanation for the disturbance must be determined from the standpoint of an ordinary person in the actor’s situation under the circumstances that the actor reasonably believed them to be. Extreme emotional disturbance does not constitute a defense to a prosecution for, or preclude a conviction of, manslaughter in the first degree or any other crime.

   * * * * * 

   ORS 163.145 Criminally negligent homicide. [Known as Crim. Neg. Hom.] (1) A person commits the crime of criminally negligent homicide when, with criminal negligence, the person causes the death of another person.

   (2) Criminally negligent homicide is a Class B felony. [1971 c.743 §91; 2003 c.815 §2]

   ORS 163.149 Aggravated vehicular homicide. (1) Criminal homicide constitutes aggravated vehicular homicide when it is committed with criminal negligence, recklessly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life by a person operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants in violation of ORS 813.010 and:

   (a) The person has a previous conviction for any of the crimes described in subsection (2) of this section, or their statutory counterparts in any jurisdiction; and

   (b) The victim’s death in the previous conviction was caused by the person driving a motor vehicle.

   (2) The previous convictions to which subsection (1) of this section applies are:

   (a) Manslaughter in the first degree under ORS 163.118;

   (b) Manslaughter in the second degree under ORS 163.125; or

   (c) Criminally negligent homicide under ORS 163.145.

   (3) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section that the defendant was not under the influence of intoxicants at the time of the conduct that resulted in the previous conviction.

   (4) Aggravated vehicular homicide is a Class A felony. [2007 c.867 §1]


David N Lesh
Oregon Defense Lawyer
No cost initial consultation



503.546.2928
434 NW 19th Avenue
Portland, OR  97209


TIP: Most homicide offenses have lengthy mandatory minimum prison sentences.

 

David Lesh Mini Biography

Oregon attorney since 1990;

Former prosecutor (5 years);

Former lawyer to the Portland Police Bureau (3+ years);

Sought after criminal defense attorney (11+ years).