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Oregon and Prosecutorial Error: Richard Lee Simmons

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Richard Lee Simmons: Pursuit Of Justice: A lawyer fights for a young man he says was wrongly prosecuted, by Karen McCowan, The Register-Guard, Appeared in print: Monday, Feb 8, 2010:

Excerpt: “A small-town Oregon lawyer remains so outraged over what prosecutors did to a Central Oregon teenager in 2006 that he intends to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to seek redress.

For now, University of Oregon Law School graduate Steve Richkind, aided by several current students at the school, is asking the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to allow him to press a $3.5 million civil rights lawsuit against state prosecutors on behalf of Richard Lee Simmons….

But for Simmons, getting charged, jailed and publicly labeled a sex offender for such behavior was particularly egregious, Richkind says, because a Jefferson County grand jury had decided it was not a crime.

“Grossest negligence and incompetence”

The panel of citizens, after hearing the state’s evidence against Simmons, returned a “no true bill” rather than an indictment. But, in an error chronicled in publications from Oregon newspapers to the American Bar Association Journal, nobody read the grand jury’s verdict. Everyone from the prosecutor to the judge to Simmons’ own defense attorney assumed he had been indicted — and proceeded accordingly….” (Read full article.)