December 29th, 2010 | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, Cops and Courts

Two Clemency Applications Lame-Duck Governor Has Granted

Gov. Ted Kulongoski
This week's year-end update on WW stories from 2010 twice mentioned clemency applications Gov. Ted Kulongoski rejected in recent months.

One of the rejected applications was for Harun Mustafa, the cello player in prison on a Measure 11 charge who was the subject of a May cover story. The other was Sung Koo Kim, the so-called "panty thief" from Tigard.

The Democratic governor, who leaves office next month, isn't opposed to giving felons a break, as WW noted three years ago. But he hasn't gone on any sort of clemency binge as he prepares to depart Salem. He has granted one pardon and commuted one person's sentence in the last few months.

On July 7, 2010, Kulongoski let Andrew Joseph Johnson, then 24, of Springfield, Ore., out of prison four years early. According to a 2002 article in the (Eugene) Register-Guard, Joseph and another man tried to rob a Springfield home with five people inside. The burglars found nothing, according to the newspaper. But they had a broken gun, which they used to hold the victims. Johnson was 16 at the time. He pleaded guilty to five counts of first-degree robbery and one count of kidnapping. And a Lane County Circuit Court judge sentenced the teenager to 12.5 years behind bars—first in youth detention, then in adult prison.

Under the terms of Kulongoski's revocable commutation, Johnson must stay out of trouble until May 2014 or face going back to prison.

On Sept. 23, Kulongoski also granted a pardon to Andrew DeForest Gilbert, a local man who in 1989 was convicted for dealing drugs, then sentenced to probation and community service. He completed his probation in 1993.

Photo of Kulongoski by Brian Lee.
 
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