Oregon v. SokellAnnotate this Case
Defendant petitioned for review of a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, imposed for a conviction for first-degree sexual abuse. Defendant argued that, as applied to his circumstances, the sentence was unconstitutionally disproportionate under Article I, section 16, of the Oregon Constitution. The Court of Appeals rejected that challenge. As defendant observed, the Supreme Court concurred that his sentence was the second harshest criminal penalty under Oregon law. However, in light of the circumstances of defendant’s current offense and his history of committing similar offenses against other young children, the Oregon Supreme Court concluded that the sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole that the trial court imposed pursuant to ORS 137.719(1) was not disproportionate under Article I, section 16.