Portland hate crime assailant who stomped on stranger’s face gets less prison time in deal with DA – oregonlive.com:

Daniel Thomas Warren has an unusually long history of attacking other people in Oregon – racking up eight convictions over the past 19 years after being accused of punching, strangling, beating, threatening to kill, kidnapping or biting the fingers of his victims.

He had been sentenced to jail or prison all eight times – for spells ranging from a few days to five years.

Despite that violent criminal history, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office gave up the pursuit of a 12-year prison sentence for Warren, who is white, and instead signed off this month on a three-year prison term for his most injurious attack to-date. In June 2023, he approached a Black food cart owner from behind, shouted a racist slur, pummeled him as he fell to the ground, then stomped on his face and fractured multiple bones, including his eye socket and nose. Eight months later, the victim said his face still doesn’t look the same and his vision damage in one eye appears permanent.

I remain opposed to hate crime laws, perhaps unalterably so. But I also remain in favor, perhaps unalterably so, of lengthy prison terms for violent offenders. 

Although prosecutors in Warren’s deal ultimately required that he plead to an assault charge as well as a hate crime, five legal experts queried by The Oregonian/OregonLive said the agreed-upon prison term seemed too light.

In an emailed response to questions from The Oregonian/OregonLive, Liz Merah, a spokeswoman for the DA’s Office, didn’t explain why the prosecution agreed to a much shorter sentence than allowed under Oregon law. She did, however, note that Warren could be on the hook for more prison if he doesn’t follow court orders, including reading an anti-racist book and writing an essay about it.

They literally gave the perpetrator a reading assignment and an essay. 

Merah also said the plea deal was done in consultation with the victim.

“The prosecutor in this case worked extensively with the victim’s lawyer and discussed the plea negotiations with her,” Merah wrote. “We proceeded with the plea agreement after receiving the go ahead from the lawyer.”

But the victim’s civil rights lawyer, Alicia LeDuc Montgomery, told The Oregonian/OregonLive that although Deputy District Attorney Kristen Kyle-Castelli was very communicative with her during plea negotiations, the victim, Darell Preston, and his family are “not happy” and “frustrated” after repeated queries from the DA’s Office about whether they’d accept lower offers. Those initial offers included no prison time and dismissing the hate crime charge, which Preston and his family did not want thrown out, Montgomery said.

Montgomery said Preston and his family didn’t oppose the ultimate three-year deal because the prosecutor told her the defendant wouldn’t accept more than that.

The defendant would not accept a deal of more than three years, so the DA’s Office tells the victim that’s the best they can do. This would be unbelievable if we didn’t already know the history of the Multnomah County DA. 

This soft-on-crime approach is one reason why the Portland area remains mired in a toxic livability stew. Who wants to live (or visit) a place where criminals go unpunished?