The Oregon Supreme Court ruled the life sentence given to a man who has been repeatedly convicted of public masturbation is unconstitutional.
Dennis Davidson, 39, was sentenced to life without parole in 2011 after being found guilty of masturbating in front of someone’s house, which close to an elementary school and in front of women in a parking lot, according to Daily Mail.
During the incident in front of the house, Davidson reportedly saw someone watching him and said, “You want some of this?”
When police detained him over the incident in the parking lot, Davidson told them he masturbated in front of the women because he thought it would make them “hot” and he would “get a date.”
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Court documents stated that Davidson suffers from a brain trauma injury because he was struck with a baseball bat when he was 16 or 17-years old. He subsequently lost an eye due to complications.
In 2011, a court sentenced Davidson to life without parole on the basis of Oregon’s three strikes law for serial sex offenders.
The Supreme Court found that although Davidson was an “incorrigible offender,” meaning he could not be cured, there was no evidence he had assaulted or molested children or anyone else.
Therefore, “the most severe penalty available under Oregon law, other than the death penalty” was not appropriate, the court ruled.
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Ernest Lannet, the attorney representing Davidson, told The Oregonian that the ruling confirmed not all sex offenders should be treated in the same way.
The Supreme Court ruled on June 16 that it was not cruel and inhumane punishment to sentence Michael Althouse to life in prison after he was convicted of exposing himself to a woman. But in Althouse’s case, he had a decades-long record of sexually assaulting children and exposing himself in public.
The life sentence for Althouse was justified, the court argued, because his most recent conviction “reflects a deeply ingrained pattern of predatory behavior that has persisted since 1982."