Oregon v. McNallyAnnotate this Case
After defendant Sean McNally refused to comply with a police officer’s order to leave a bus station, the officer arrested him and charged him with, among other things, the misdemeanor offense of interfering with a peace officer. At defendant’s subsequent trial, defendant asked the trial court to instruct the jury that it should acquit him of the charge of interfering with a peace officer if it found that he had engaged in passive resistance. The trial court refused, and the jury found defendant guilty on all charged counts. The Court of Appeals affirmed defendant’s conviction for interfering with a peace officer, holding that defendant had not been entitled to a passive resistance instruction, because only someone who is performing specific acts or techniques commonly associated with governmental protest or civil disobedience can be said to be engaged in “passive resistance.” After its review, the Oregon Supreme Court held the phrase “passive resistance” referred to noncooperation with a peace officer that does not involve violence or other active conduct by the defendant. Accordingly, the Court reversed the Court of Appeals’ decision affirming defendant’s conviction for interfering with a peace officer and remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings; the Court otherwise affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals.