Oregon v. NixAnnotate this Case
Defendant was found guilty of 20 counts of second-degree animal neglect. The issue on appeal to the Supreme Court in this case was whether defendant was guilty of 20 separately punishable offenses, which turned on the question whether animals are "victims" for the purposes of the anti-merger statute. The trial court concluded that, because only people can be victims within the meaning of that statute, defendant had committed only one punishable offense. The court merged the 20 counts into a single conviction for second-degree animal neglect. On appeal, the Court of Appeals concluded that animals can be victims within the meaning of the anti-merger statute and, accordingly, reversed and remanded for entry of a judgment of conviction on each of the 20 counts and for resentencing. The Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeals and affirmed.