January 19, 2011
• Posted in

The 8-0 ruling is the 7th consecutive U.S. Supreme Court victory for the Oregon Department of Justice.

The U.S. Supreme Court today

 unanimously ruled against a convicted Oregon killer who was seeking a new trial. The 8-0 decision rejected Randy Joseph Moore’s claim that his conviction should be overturned because his lawyer failed to try and get his confession thrown out of court.

“This is a very important victory for the criminal justice system because it maintains the integrity of the plea-bargaining process,” said Attorney General John Kroger, who argued the case before the Supreme Court in October. “The decision also means a convicted killer will stay behind bars where he belongs.”

The unanimous ruling is the 7th consecutive time the Oregon Department of Justice has prevailed before the U.S. Supreme Court dating back more than a decade.

Twenty-four states filed a friend of the court brief in support of Oregon’s position.

Moore pleaded no contest to felony murder for his role in a Southern Oregon kidnapping that ended in the shooting death of the victim. He later claimed that he did not receive adequate legal assistance and deserved a new trial. But the court ruled that Moore failed to make the case.

“The plea process brings to the criminal justice system a stability and a certainty that must not be undermined by the prospect of collateral challenges in cases not only where witnesses and evidence have disappeared, but also in cases where witnesses and evidence were not presented in the first place. The substantial burden to show ineffective assistance of counsel, the burden the claimant must meet to avoid the plea, has not been met in this case,” Justice Kennedy wrote for the court.

Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department’s mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.


Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 tony.green@doj.state.or.us |