ORS 137.218 (SB 819) Request for Reconsideration of Conviction or Sentence
What is SB 819?
Passed in the 2021 legislation session, this law allows for a District Attorney, along with a convicted person, to petition a court to reconsider a previously imposed conviction or sentence, depending on the type of the conviction and certain other criteria. This law became effective on January 1, 2022.
Purpose of Policy- Klamath County Discretionary Review Policies
It is the policy of the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office (KCDA) to uphold Oregon’s constitutional and statutory principles related to the sentencing of convicted persons. Those principles include protection of society, victim safety, personal responsibility, accountability, reformation, and public faith in the criminal justice system. Great deference will be given to a sentence already issued. Sentence Judgments are the product of careful evaluation by the defense, prosecution, and the Judge. The public and victims rely upon the finality of that process. Reopening an already closed case is of no small import to the taxpayers who pay for our system of justice and to the community and individuals who have participated in the process.
Beginning January 1, 2022, applications may be submitted to the Klamath County District Attorney’s office for consideration of a petition pursuant to SB 819. The request may include a request to dismiss the conviction, resentence the defendant to a lesser sentence for the same crime of conviction, or sentence the defendant for a new crime.
While all submissions for resentencing review will be examined, only the rare and extraordinary cases will result in a decision to file a Joint Petition for Reconsideration of Conviction or Sentence. Extraordinary circumstances may include newly identified evidence that significantly calls into question the integrity of the evidence upon which the defendant was convicted. Applications will be screened and reviewed by designated personnel consistent with these policies. Any decision to file a joint petition will be made by the District Attorney. All decisions are final.
KCDA will only review complete applications that comply with the criteria listed in the Klamath County Eligibility and Application Information. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
SECTION 2: Eligibility for Reconsideration under SB 819
SB 819 only allows the Klamath County District Attorney’s office to consider certain types of convictions. Under the law, the KCDA can only jointly petition with an applicant if:
- The applicant’s conviction comes from Klamath County;
- The applicant’s conviction is not expungable under ORS 137.225;
- The applicant’s conviction was sentenced as a felony/felonies; and
- The applicant’s conviction was not aggravated murder.
SECTION 3: Application Consideration by the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office
The following additional criteria will make an application presumptively ineligible for SB 819 review:
- Application is incomplete or includes false or misleading information
- A request from the same defendant was denied in the last 36 months
- Defendant’s case is currently pending appeal or post-conviction relief
- If sentenced to probation, the defendant has not successfully completed probation or was revoked (successful completion means the defendant has completed or complied with all terms during the probation period)
The Klamath County District Attorney’s Office will not consider sentencing modifications for convictions of the following charges: murder or homicide in any degree; violent sexual offenses; sexual offenses involving abuse, solicitation or unlawful depiction of a child; or any felony involving the use or threatened use of a firearm. Convictions and sentences for a crime under ORS 137.700 (Measure 11) or a crime involving child abuse or domestic violence will only be eligible for SB 819 reconsideration in rare circumstances.
Additionally, the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office will not consider sentencing modifications in cases in which the defendant’s criminal history or history of violence is extensive, the defendant has been convicted of a criminal offense in any jurisdiction after the crime in which reconsideration is being sought, the defendant has pending criminal charges in any jurisdiction, the defendant was incarcerated after defendant violated probation on a downward dispositional departure, the defendant has not served at least 50% of the originally imposed sentence, the defendant stipulated to the sentence in avoidance of a departure sentence during negotiations, and cases where the victim opposes modification or the victim’s safety is compromised by the applicant’s release.
SECTION 4: Required Contents of Application
If an application is incomplete, the application will be returned to the applicant along with a decline letter. Any person seeking reconsideration will have to resubmit a completed application. KCDA will not hold incomplete applications awaiting additional information.
KCDA cannot provide legal advice or assistance in completing this request.
Applications must include the following documentation:
- Item 1: A cover letter containing the following information:
- Full name of defendant, including any aliases
- Date of Birth of defendant
- SID Number of the defendant (if relevant)
- The current address of the defendant and mailing address
- Court case number and charges for which reconsideration is being sought
- All prior convictions by name of crime, jurisdiction, and year
- Any prior requests for SB 819 resentencing, including pending requests in any jurisdiction
- Name/contact information of attorney if currently represented
The cover letter must incorporate the application by reference and must be signed with an affirmation that all of the information set forth in the cover letter and application material is true to the best of the applicant’s knowledge.
- Item 2: A copy of the Judgment from any case where the applicant is seeking relief.
- Item 3: A copy of any appellate judgment or post-conviction/habeas judgment related to the underlying conviction(s), or a statement that no appeal, post-conviction, or habeas proceeding was filed.
- Item 4: A copy of the applicant’s DOC supervision, disciplinary, programming, educational, and vocational record, available upon request to:
OISC Information Request Specialist
Oregon Department of Corrections
24499 SW Grahams Ferry Road
Wilsonville, Or 97070-5670
Phone (503) 570-6919, Fax: (503) 570-6902
- Item 5: Document titled “Statement of Accountability” or “Statement of Actual Innocence”
- A statement of facts, written by the applicant, concerning the crime(s) of commission resulting in the judgment of conviction. The statement should include the applicant’s account of any crimes dismissed or not filed as a result of plea negotiations known to the applicant. The applicant’s statement should focus on personal responsibility and accountability, or in the case where the applicant asserts actual innocence, why the applicant is innocent of the crimes of conviction.
- Item 6: Document titled “Statement of Relief”
- A statement by the applicant of the specific relief sought (such as release from custody or reduction of a prison sentence, dismissal of a charge, a conviction of a different crime, reduction of the fine, or something else) and why. In explaining why the relief sought should be allowed, the applicant should focus on: protection of society, victim safety, personal responsibility, accountability, reformation, and public faith in the criminal justice system. Include why you believe the sentence or conviction the defendant received no longer serves the interest of justice.
Applications may include additional documentation, such as:
- A copy of any DOC substance abuse or mental health treatment records.
- Letters of reference, including the contact’s name, address, telephone number, and/or email address.
- Additional materials that support the application and request for relief.
SECTION 5: How to Apply
A separate form to initiate this process is not required. A convicted person or their attorney should submit a request, with all the required documentation outlined in Section 4, via U.S. mail to:
Klamath County District Attorney
SB 819 Conviction/Sentence Reconsideration
316 Main Street
Klamath Falls, Oregon 97601
SECTION 6: What happens when the Klamath County District Attorney’s Office receives the request?
Upon receipt of a complete application, the KCDA will review the request for reconsideration under SB 819. This process is outlined in the Klamath County SB 819 Review Process.
If the application is incomplete or does not qualify for review, a denial letter will be sent to the defendant.
If the Klamath County District Attorney declines the defendant’s request following a review, a final denial letter will be sent to the defendant.
If the Klamath County District Attorney agrees to jointly petition, the KCDA will prepare a Joint Petition for Reconsideration together with the applicant and file the Petition with the Court. The KCDA and the applicant will attend a court hearing where the Judge will determine whether to grant the Joint Petition for Reconsideration.
SECTION 7: Decision from District Attorney and Eligibility for Re-Application
The decision of the Klamath County District Attorney is final. The KCDA will not consider any new SB 819 application from the applicant for a period of at least 36 months following a denial and until circumstances have changed. Changed circumstances include a different theory of relief, new information, changes in the eligibility criteria set by the KCDA, or the fulfillment of other criteria.
Applicants whose applications are rejected as incomplete may re-apply at any time with a completed application for consideration.
SECTION 8: Information for Victims
KCDA is committed to involving victims and survivors in any SB 819 decision. If you are a victim or survivor of an SB 819 related claim that KCDA is considering for Reconsideration of Sentence or Conviction, you will be contacted by us in letter form or through a phone call from a victim advocate. If requested, you will have an opportunity to personally meet with the District Attorney about your position.
The KCDA will support and respect you in whatever decisions you make. We will consider your perspective in deciding whether to file a joint petition for reconsideration. If the Klamath County District Attorney agrees to file a joint petition, you have the right to participate in the hearing by whatever method you prefer.
The KCDA is committed to meaningfully involving and informing victims/survivors using trauma-informed practices. We believe in:
- Strengthening the victim/survivor’s capacity to recover from traumatic events by providing timely and ongoing information, resources, services, support, and relevant contacts at the victim’s request.
- Acknowledging that earlier notification of changes in case status provides a better opportunity for victim/survivor choice, preparation, and recovery.
- Empowering the victim/survivor by providing choices on whether, how, and when they are kept informed and supported.