The Oregon Crime Victims Law Center (OCVLC) received a $25,000 donation from Vangelisti Kocher LLC.
Richard Vangelisti and Scott Kocher have been strong legal advocates for crime victims in civil cases for many years, and their generous contribution demonstrates a remarkable commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of Oregon crime victims in criminal cases as well. It's this kind of the support from donors that make it possible for the OCVLC to continue offering services at no cost to crime victims in Oregon.
Although the OCVLC's core work has been funded by government grants, recent federal funding cuts have made support from private donors increasingly vital to helping the OCVLC continue its important mission.
Thanks to the combined efforts of the OCVLC and the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, a victim of an assault was able to stop an attempt by her abuser to receive access to all of her medical records for the last five years.
The defendant served two subpoenas on the victim, one requesting that she provide her medical, insurance, and driving records from the last five years to the defendant.The other was a "proposed" subpoena that the defendant was planning to issue to all of the victim's medical providers for the last five years.The defendant made no legal or factual arguments in support of the release of these records.
The OCVLC submitted a Motion to Quash Subpoenas to the court presenting the argument that the victim had a right to refuse a defense discovery request, that the medical records were protected under HIPAA, and that the defendant could not show that there was information in those records that would be material, favorable, and admissible as evidence at trial.
A hearing on this motion was held on Jan. 19 before Judge Jerry Hodson who granted OCVLC's Motion to Quash after finding that the defendant's basis for requesting the records was "conjecture."
Newly-hired OCVLC Legal Director Rosemary Brewer represented the victim in this case.
On Jan. 18, the OCVLC helped to persuade the Oregon State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision (BPPPS) that an inmate who bludgeoned and then choked to death a Portland man almost 25 years ago should spend at least another 24 months behind bars.
Although the three-member board previously had found that the inmate, Scott Wickee, aka Wickey, was likely to be rehabilitated within a reasonable period of time and had set a
release date for April 2012, it unanimously concluded, at a Jan. 18 hearing, that it was not required to release him at that time because he has a severe emotional disturbance that would make him a danger to the community if released.
The board set a new release date of April 16, 2014, with another hearing to be held in Fall 2013 to determine whether Wickee’s current psychological status and release plan warrant release at that time.
At the hearing, Wickee refused to acknowledge that he and his co-defendant, Kevin Roper, intended both to rob and murder the victim, Eddie Lee “Bobby” Gibbs, when they left Gibbs’ Southeast Portland house together in 1987, despite intense and at times disbelieving questioning from board members.
“There were real contradictions,” board chairman Aaron Felton told Wickee about his version of the crime, which Wickee has had almost 25 years to consider.
“The story should be clear,” Felton said. “It shouldn’t be ambiguous.”
Felton told Wickee that the board also was “deeply concerned” about how he might deal with authority outside prison. “You still need to do some work,” Felton concluded.
Wickee and Roper both were convicted of Aggravated Murder and sentenced to life in prison with mandatory minimum sentences of 30 years without the possibility of parole. However, in 2010 the Oregon Supreme Court held that, as a result of the board's 2008 findings that Wickee and Roper were likely to be rehabilitated, it was required to set release dates for them,
even though they had not yet served their 30-year minimum sentences.
That ruling also affected 28 other inmates, of which Roper was the first to have a hearing scheduled to determine whether his existing release date would be delayed. On Nov. 15, Roper, who had been scheduled for release in March 2012, also was denied release for at least another two years.
Wickee's release also was opposed by Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Charles “Chuck” French and Gibbs' mother and brother.
The OCVLC, which represented Gibbs' sister at Wickee’s hearing, also represented her at Roper’s hearing.
The Oregon Crime Victims Law Center is pleased to announce Rosemary Brewer as our new Legal Director. A former prosecutor, Rosemary is an accomplished and compassionate attorney with years of experience working with crime victims. We are confident that with Rosemary as part of our team, we will continue to provide the expert no-cost legal services that clients have come to expect from the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center.
Prior to her legal work, Rosemary was a copy editor/ reporter for the newspapers The Atlanta Journal & Constitution and The Oregonian.
Rosemary succeeds Janine Robben who stepped down as Legal Director on January 1, 2012.
On Dec 31, 2011, Janine Robben ended her service at the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center to spend more time with family and take-on more leisurely endeavors.
Janine leaves "having created a remarkable body of pioneering legal work for Oregon crime victims and a strong foundation for the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center's work ahead," said Former Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers, who serves as president of the Board of Directors of the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center.
The Board of Directors and staff wish Janine a splendid retirement and thank her for all that she has done for crime victims.