By: My Columbia Basin
PENDLETON, OR – Normally, policy measures are not a part of the Oregon Legislature’s short sessions in even-numbered years. However, Senate Bill 1562 is gaining traction. The measure that would make strangulation a felony in certain instances of domestic violence has Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Athena) listed as one of its chief sponsors. Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts supports the measure.
“Oftentimes, in short sessions, there’s not sufficient time to truly vet a bill and get it to the floors for a vote and get it out the back side,” he said. “I’m hopeful that an appropriate amount of attention is paid to this bill.”
The measure has already had one public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Roberts says it’s a positive change to see lawmakers proposing something that supports the rights of victims of crime instead of the rights of criminals.
“That’s a win for victims,” he said. “I struggle to say this but it’s a personal belief that this is one of the rare occasions where the rights of the victims are being advocated more so than the rights of the offender.”
A similar measure was proposed in 2016 but was not enacted. Roberts says the force behind the bill’s return is the widow of a police officer who was killed by a chronic abuser who she feels would have been imprisoned if his crimes brought harsher sentences.
Article Source: Roberts supports making strangulation a felony