|You may think that, if you are ever the victim of violent
crime, you will be safe once the police arrest the perpetrator. Not so.
In January 1996, Lee Knoch was indicted on charges of kidnapping, beating and torturing Robert Allen Holliday, 34. Among other things, he had broken 11 of Robert Holliday's ribs and poured carburetor fluid in his eyes.
The judge set a bail of $200,000. Lee Knoch's father posted $20,000, the required 10% of his bail. The criminal defendant was released pending trial.
While awaiting trial on bail, Lee Knoch failed to report to authorities as ordered, was twice cited for reckless driving, was twice stopped for speeding, and was twice stopped in Newberg, where the judge had forbidden him to go because Robert Holliday lived there.
On March 28, 1996, shortly before Lee Knoch was to stand trial, his accomplice, Amanda Walker, lured Robert Holliday into a van - a van in which Lee Knoch was waiting. Knoch and Walker murdered Robert Holliday.
Lee Knoch was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Amanda Walker was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.
One of the provisions of Measure 40, passed by the Oregon voters in November, 1996, required that judges hold people accused of serious violent crimes without bail unless the judge found by clear and convincing evidence that the accused was a not a danger to the victim or to the public. Opponents of Measure 40 fought this, even after the voters passed it.
On June 25, 1998, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled Measure 40 invalid on narrow technical grounds. Crime Victims United lobbied the Oregon Legislature to refer the parts of Measure 40 to the voters, as separate measures. Measure 71, which required that judges hold people accused of serious violent crimes without bail if the judge found by clear and convincing evidence that the accused was a danger to the victim or to the public, was referred to the voters. Opponents attacked it, often misstating the provisions of the measure. The voters of Oregon approved it, making it part of the Oregon Constitution.
Opponents promised to continue attacking Measure 71 in the courts. They feel that we are too hard on criminals and criminal defendants. Tell that to the family of Robert Holliday.