Open Letter to Governor Kate Brown

Hello Kate, I really like the things you do for the state of Oregon and will continue to vote for you. Its so nice to have such a strong woman in the position you are in. I met you while I was a client at the Oregon State Hospital and we took a picture together. That was a really cool day. I'm sorry about the misunderstanding there was with the other consumer in my party who handed you a suspicious piece of paper that had to be investigated. He is a good guy but was just sick. I am not sure how they are doing now.

My Name is Preston Berman and I would like to write to you today about what I think is unfair to individuals that were adjudicated guilty except for insanity because they were unable to conform their conduct to the standards and expectations of the law at the time of the instant offense due to the individual suffering from a severe mental condition. As it stands the law was modified to no longer require individuals in my position to receive the maximum sentence allowed under the law. What I believe is unfair and that should be fixed is that doesn't do anything for anyone who was already convicted because the law interpretation was not applied retroactively. Thus I have a 20 year commitment to stay in the state of Oregon. Not that I would leave permanently if I could. I have a life in Oregon, Friends and I really like the state. I feel like if this law got a second or third look maybe there could be a way to revisit all of the cases that were convicted before the change and grant them some relief. As it stands today my only option would be to file for a post conviction relieve have my conviction overturned and return to county jail for a new trial.  I know we have a crisis on our hands in Oregon and I am sure the budget could use some trimming from some of these individuals who are in the same situation as me living successfully in the community leading normal lives.

Another thing I wanted to touch on briefly is that with SB 420 the PSRB was no longer applied to people that were incarcerated at the Oregon State Hospital. They were placed under SHRP. When the law was interpreted as it was written I believe it should have differentiated between Measure 11 arson and Non Measure 11 arson. I was convicted of a non measure 11 arson at least thats what my Public defender told me at the time which should have moved me to Tier 2 under SB420 while I was at the Oregon State Hospital and had me under the SHRP board. But I fell through the cracks.

When the change took effect a large number of clients I know used it as sort of a get out of jail free loop hole. They were out in the community and were revoked to the state hospital on purpose with the sole objective of receiving a jurisdictional discharge from the SHRP panel that had full permission to grant those and doesn't need to clear anything with the PSRB.

I see just now this law has been modified but I haven't read into it yet. 

Well Thank you for your time and I hope you can take some of these things into consideration. I really appreciate how the State of Oregon has helped me with my current life trajectory.


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