Society

Oregon Supreme Court Rules Kenneth Everett Moore's Conviction Over Privacy Violation

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Late author Norman Mailer called fiction “The Spooky Art,” but anyone who has read his work (or the work of countless other fiction-writers from King to Vonnegut to Joyce) knows that much of the “make-believe” wasn’t really made-up at all. Such is the case of Kenneth Everett Moore, reported exclusively by The Oregonian, when he was convicted of six counts of first-degree rape of a teenage girl from September 2008 and April 2009. He also led police on a high-speed chase and faced a charge of “solicitation to commit aggravated murder.” Eventually, Moore was sentenced to 35 years in prison, 28 of those years stemming from the rape charges.

However, a key piece of evidence in his conviction was a 224-page “memoir” that Moore said was a work of fiction, in which the main character is accused of sexually assaulting a child. Yet despite the Oregon Supreme Court’s earlier ruling that felons have a diminished expectation of privacy, they found that the book should not have been taken into evidence, which calls into question Moore’s conviction.

In the decision, the court ruled that the search of Moore’s cell and the seizure of the book was unlawful, adding, “because the admission of that evidence was harmful as to the rape charges, we reverse and remand on Counts 9 to 14 in the jury trial case.” His other two convictions were affirmed, and it remains unclear how this will affect Moore’s sentence. Also according to The Oregonian, because of this “ruling, he is expected to go back to trial under accusations of rape.”

Just yesterday, Opposing Views covered the overturned verdict of another child sex abuse case in New Hampshire. In this case, according to Oregon Coast News, a number of other, unrelated charges were “dismissed without prejudice” because of Moore’s already lengthy sentence and a desire to save taxpayer money. Had Moore been found guilty of those, the dismissal of the rape counts might have not even mattered in the long-run. Still, Moore is eligible for retrial because double-jeopardy only applies to “legitimate” convictions or acquittals. 

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