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Bradford v. Premo

Court of Appeals of Oregon

August 2, 2017

TRAVELL LAMONTE BRADFORD, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
Jeff PREMO, Superintendent, Oregon State Penitentiary, Defendant-Respondent.

          Submitted November 25, 2015

         Marion County Circuit Court 10C10613; Jack A. Billings, Judge.

          Jed Peterson fled the brief for appellant.

          Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Anna M. Joyce, Solicitor General, and Carolyn Alexander, Assistant Attorney General, fled the brief for respondent.

          Before Armstrong, Presiding Judge, and Hadlock, Chief Judge, and Egan, Judge.

         Case Summary:

         Petitioner unsuccessfully asserted three claims for post-conviction relief from convictions for rape and other crimes. On appeal, petitioner argues that the post-conviction court's judgment does not comply with the clear-statement rule of ORS 138.640(1), as construed in Datt v. Hill, 347 Or. 672, 227 P.3d 714 (2010).

         Held:

         The post-conviction court's judgment does not satisfy the requirements of ORS 138.640(1) in regards to petitioner's second and third claims for relief. As explained in Datt, included in the clear-statement rule imposed by ORS 138.640(1) is the requirement that judgments denying relief in post-conviction cases "make the legal basis for denial of relief apparent." The post-conviction court's judgment did not expressly address the reasons it denied relief for petitioner's second and third claims. Accordingly, the legal basis for the court's denial is not apparent.

         Reversed and remanded as to the second and third claims for relief, for entry of judgment including the fndings required by ORS 138.640(1); otherwise affirmed.

         [287 Or.App. 124] HADLOCK, C. J.

         Petitioner unsuccessfully sought post-conviction relief from his convictions for rape and other crimes. He raises three assignments of error on appeal. In his first two assignments, petitioner asserts that the post-conviction court erred when it precluded petitioner from testifying about the content of certain documents and photographs that were not, themselves, admitted as exhibits. We reject those two assignments of error without further discussion. In his third assignment of error, petitioner argues that the post-conviction court's judgment does not comply with the clear-statement rule of ORS 138.640(1), as construed in Datt v. Hill, 347 Or. 672, 227 P.3d 714 (2010). We agree that the judgment does not satisfy the requirements of ORS 138.640(1) and Datt with respect to petitioner's second and third claims for post-conviction relief. Accordingly, we reverse and remand as to those claims for entry of a judgment that meets those requirements.

         Following a jury trial, petitioner was convicted of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, fourth-degree assault, strangulation, and menacing. After his convictions were affirmed on direct appeal, petitioner sought post-conviction relief. Petitioner's first amended petition for post-conviction relief included three claims. In his first claim for relief, petitioner alleged that he had been deprived of constitutionally adequate assistance of trial counsel. Petitioner identified 20 alleged failings of his lawyer, ranging from failure "to conduct an adequate investigation which would have yielded exculpatory witnesses and evidence [, ]" to failure to impeach various state witnesses, through failure to adequately cross-examine the victim. In his second and third claims for relief, petitioner alleged prosecutorial misconduct, asserting (among other things) that prosecutors committed Brady violations by withholding exculpatory evidence.

         Following a bench trial, the post-conviction court announced that it would enter judgment in favor of the defendant superintendent. The court explained that petitioner had not proved that his trial lawyer committed any "error" and that, even if petitioner had shown any such error, petitioner had not proved that "substantial prejudice" had resulted. [287 Or.App. 125] The court subsequently entered a judgment that denied the first amended petition for post-conviction relief and included findings and conclusions that expressly addressed, and rejected, most of petitioner's claims about ways in which he believed his ...


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