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Commentary

OR: Senate Bill 499 should become law

[eastoregonian.com – 5/8/21]

Earl Bain was wrongfully convicted in Malheur County in 2009 and spent six years in prison. After the complaining witness in his case recanted her story, with the help of the Oregon Innocence Project he was pardoned on the grounds of innocence by Gov. Kate Brown in August 2020.

For over six years of my life, I was wrongfully incarcerated in an Oregon prison. I was convicted in Malheur County of a crime I did not commit and falsely labeled as having abused my own child. I was living a nightmare, but I couldn’t wake up.

Last year, Gov. Kate Brown granted me a pardon on the grounds of my innocence, the first time she has issued a pardon on that basis. I no longer carry the labels of “felon” or “sex offender” but the problems stemming from my wrongful conviction are far from over.

Due to my conviction, I lost the good career I had in the military and can’t go back to it. I am a combat veteran who served my country in Afghanistan, but that didn’t count for anything when the state took everything from me and sent me to prison.

Trying to overcome all of this has been a tremendous struggle for me and my family. The stigma of my wrongful conviction is such that every time I meet someone new, I have had to worry about what they are thinking about me. I have had to try to find words to explain that I’m not who my conviction said I was.

I’m free now, and my innocence has been recognized, but I’m still trying to rebuild my life. I had to start over when I got out of prison and the challenges I face have not come to an end just because I no longer have the wrongful conviction on my record.

People like me are just asking for a fair shot. We lost everything and it was the criminal justice system that took it from us. I believe it’s time for Oregon to recognize exonerees and address the harm that has been done to us. I am an innocent man, but those are just words. How can the state be allowed to take everything away from me and shrug its shoulders after I am exonerated?

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Wow, there are many issues to discuss:

  • Would Oregon SB 499 be a way to prove the registry is punishment since Earl expects a pile of money for what he endured?
  • He is a white Brian Banks
  • The persecution he endured parallels ours
  • Has his opinion on registrants changed?

I fully agree with this editorial. The state shouldn’t be allowed to shrug and say “Sorry, my bad. Good luck to you” when someone is exonerated. Also interesting that they consider wrongfully put on the registry worthy of compensation while publicly (but probably not privately) claiming it’s not punitive. But the real unfortunate part is the shoddy and shady prosecutions will continue, particularly in sex crimes.

All the credit in the world to this author. Very seldom are felons of any kind exonerated on the basis of innocence. Cases like this highlight the problems with unsupported accusations being proof enough to convict. In this case in particular, I can’t help but wonder if the purported victim recanted before or after he was convicted. If before, I would argue the DA that earned this conviction should be disbarred.

Nothing like the arrogance of wrongful convictions. I read some books at Amazon about wrongful convictions, called the colder case series. One was a wrongful execution called Colder Case about the murders of 3 little girls in Inglewood, CA. It was a convincing book about a how the man hanged was not guilty. Two other books dealt with life sentences that were commuted years later. It was a series of books really, about the old school 3rd degree and a cold case from San Diego, I remember. Evidently a serial killer was on the hunt and they kept convicting the wrong men for his crimes. The books include partial trial transcripts to make evidence of innocence more “official.” One of the books looks at the man that designed the CA registry in about 1949. Dr. de River, I think. I remember that because he pronouces his name de-rye-ver, like he was some great seer into the mind and could derive all. Actually, he lied about his credentials on the stand.

When the state screws up they should pay along with corrections, prosecutors and state paid therapists/ polygraph examiners. State does wrong they play dumb and take their sweet time for justice. We screw up the state goes all out to put a person behind bars faster than the sped of light.

Daam as a man this story is scary as hell all it takes is for someone to come forward and say you did something sexual towards them or their child even if it isn’t true your going to jail and we all know how much the DA loves theses types of cases it looks good on their resume just in case they decide to follow in Kamala Harris footsteps.
If your labeled a sex offender you gotta be extremely careful who you deal with especially if they know about your past.
About a year ago i met this bomb as Hawaiian chick online she was hella cool but she had a really bad drinking problem to the point where I couldn’t deal with it anymore.
So I nicely broke up with her 2 days later this crazy biitch started sending me long crazy az text messages about how she was gonna call the cops and say i raped her and because I’m labeled a sex offender that everyone would believe it.
She even threatened to post Flyers of my face around my neighborhood and in my apartment building of course I saved all those text messages for evidence just in case but damn just the thought was hella scary Can you imagine if I had been staying at her house two or three weeks at a time and we got into it and she told the cops that I’ve stay there frequently two or three weeks at a time OMG I’d be sent to prison for FTR
After that I’ve been having a really hard time with dating and trusting people

Good luck 😬👌

good luck aero, you’ll need it.

I documented everything thing she ever texted me so i wasn’t worried about she was just another hater trying use my past to bring me down if i ever see her again id probably spit on her and laugh

Good luck ✌🤠

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