Seeking to Restore Integrity and Public Trust in Our Justice System
A Tale of
Every criminal case includes a process called "plea bargaining."
1. If the accused agrees to plead guilty, he gets a reduced sentence.
2. If he refuses and loses at trial, he gets a longer sentence ("trial penalty").
3. While sitting in chains awaiting trial, the accused is apprised of those
threats and promises repeatedly.
4. If he succumbs to the threat of a longer sentence and agrees to the
promise of the shorter sentence, he signs a form pleading guilty, with a solemn oath that he was
not threatened or promised anything.
5. This is not "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" that
American courts have traditionally required of testimony. Lying under oath is perjury and all
the court officials participate in the conspiracy to suborn perjury.
Justice will not be served until those who are
unaffected are as outraged as those who are.
The Siege on Summer
Street (Salem, Oregon 22 January 2019)
7. The Wheels of Justice?
More Like a Threshing Machine
If you want justice for yourself and others, you should be concerned about what an Oregon circuit
court judge, Thomas Hart, calls "the wheels of justice."
Follow the case of State vs. Kenneth Ketchem. You will see how the "wheels of
justice" operate like a threshing machine. Legal/quasi-legal procedures are used to thrash
and beat the accused person until—the prosecution hopes—he yells "UNCLE!" and
Government prosecutors have ample budgets. Few accused citizens can pay a private lawyer to
compete against a government-financed prosecutor in the courtroom. Prosecutors know this and
try to get accused persons to plead guilty before a trial. Those agreements are called "plea
bargains" (described here).
If the accused will not agree to plead guilty before trial, he or she may need a "Public
Defender"—someone paid at public expense to defend him or her in court. But in
Ketchem's case, at least, the Public Defender seemed to be there for cosmetic purposes
only—not interested in a vigorous defense.
January 22, 2019: Kenneth Ketchem was arrested.
January 30, 2019: Ketchem was released from hospital and booked into jail.
February 8, 2019: Jeffrey Jones agreed to represent Ketchem.
April 9, 2019: Ketchem pleaded not guilty at arraignment.
September 20, 2019: Judge Hart assigned Spencer Todd to represent Ketchem as
November 26, 2019: Judge Hart held court hearing on defendant's motion to reduce
bail. Motion denied.
January 9, 2020: Judge Hart assigned Martin C. Habekost to represent Ketchem as
Judge Hart's Phone Call to Everyone's Business
This writer wrote to Judge Thomas Hart on June 3, 2019. At that time Kenneth Ketchem,
accused of arson in the Siege on Summer Street, had been in jail without a trial for four
months. Given the Salem SWAT Team's four-hour barrage of incendiaries, the outbreak
of fires and the ruination of the house—it seemed Ketchem was scapegoated for the
damage. Blaming him might save the city embarrassment and liability. But Ketchem
was insisting on his innocence and had refused to plea bargain. His bail had been set at
In my letter, I asked Judge Hart if I could attend the June 11 status conference in his
office. I told him of my interest in the Bill of Rights, in particular the 6th
Amendment right to trial, and my concern that plea bargaining has virtually eviscerated
that right. (Everyone's Business June 3 Letter
to Judge Hart).
(NOTE: At the time I wrote the letter, Mr. Ketchem was represented by a private
attorney, Jeffrey Jones. I had briefly met Mr. Jones and gave him a print-out of the
Everyone's Business webpage. He thanked me and was most courteous.)
Two days after I delivered my June 3 letter to Judge Hart, he telephoned me (June 5.)
No, I could not attend the status conference. He told me that he was not familiar with
the facts of the case and did not want to be: He wanted to preserve his impartiality so that
he was not prejudiced against either side when the trial was held. It was at the trial,
he said, that the facts would be determined. He was courteous and charming.
And what are the judge's obligations? The State of Oregon administers an oath to all
judges before they assume their duties. In that oath, the judge promises to support the
Federal and State Constitutions:
(1) Before entering upon the duties of a judge of the Supreme Court, whether upon election
or appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court or upon appointment as a senior judge or a
judge pro tempore, a person must take and subscribe, and submit to the Secretary of State,
an oath in the form provided by section 7, Article VII (Amended) of the Oregon
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, before entering upon the duties
of a judge of the Court of Appeals, the Oregon Tax Court or a circuit court, a person who
is appointed or elected to the office must take and subscribe, and submit to the Secretary
of State, an oath in the following form:
I, ____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of
the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Oregon, and that I will
faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of a judge of the ______________
(court), according to the best of my ability, and that I will not accept any other
office, except judicial offices, during the term for which I have been ________ (elected
Judge Thomas ("Tom") Hart signed that oath with all solemnity when he re-ascended the judge's
bench in 2010
(cached) and again
(cached). A circuit court judge
who has signed that oath at least twice cannot profess he is unaware of his legal duties or
the spirit in which they must be performed. And we should remember those duties are not
trivial: Judge Hart has the power to sentence people to death.
But later I learned that Judge Hart had signed search warrants for the police on January 22,
2019, the day of the incident. I was puzzled: Given that a search warrant can be issued
only on a statement of "probable cause," how ignorant of the "facts" could Judge Hart have
been on June 5, 2019?
Another puzzle: According to Det. Daniel Chase, Judge Hart signed the two Search Warrants on
January 22 at "2058 hours," that is, 8:58 pm.
Source: Incident Supplement, Det. Daniel Chase, Pgs. 11, 12 of 15; Bates
But Judge Hart backdated his signature, indicating he had signed them at 12:06 pm that
day. Why would he do that? Is that the honesty we expect of a judge?
Representation for Kenneth Ketchem—
From Private Attorney to Public Defender
In the months that followed his arrest, Kenneth Ketchem's family spent many thousands of
dollars paying a private attorney (Jeffrey Jones) for his defense. But the money ran
out. So on September 20, 2019, Judge Hart appointed Spencer Todd as Ketchem's
Source: Court Recording of the November 26 hearing on Spencer Todd's
motion to withdraw.
I made the acquaintance of Mr. Todd sometime in October 2019 and was favorably
impressed. I gave him a copy of the Everyone's Business webpage. He
thanked me and was most courteous. I asked him for an updated photo for the webpage and
he sent me one. He promised to send his private investigator to talk to us and that
I have since come to the conclusion that Mr. Todd was intimidated by the odds he was facing
from "the wheels of justice" and became part of the threshing machine. I have notified
him of the existence of this page, and hope that he responds to the concerns I am expressing.
November 26, 2019: Hearing on Defendant's Motion to Reduce $1,000,000
Bail Official recording of the hearing is available
County Court Records
On November 26, 2019, Kenneth Ketchem, represented by Public Defender Todd, asked to have his
$1 million bail reduced.
In relevant part, the U.S. Constitution says this about bail:
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed. Cruel and unusual
punishments shall not be inflicted, but all penalties shall be proportioned to the
offense.—In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law,
and the facts under the direction of the Court as to the law, and the right of new trial, as
in civil cases.
On November 26, Asst. District Attorney Kier Boettcher announced the case. Public
Defender Todd then spoke. He suggested a more reasonable bail figure. He also said
he did not want to "litigate what the issues are going to be" in the trial.
Judge Hart said:
"I kind of know the facts of the case."
"Well, that's perfect then, Judge."
Section starts at 1:48.
The Lone Ranger's name is redacted.
But wait! What was "perfect" about that? At that point, Ketchem had been in jail
for 10 months without a trial. How could Judge Hart know "the facts of the case"?
Here is what the U.S. Constitution and the Oregon Constitution say about establishing "the
facts" of the case:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public
trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been
committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed
of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him;
to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance
of counsel for his defense.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right to public trial by an
impartial jury in the county in which the offense shall have been committed; to be heard by
himself and counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, and to
have a copy thereof; to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process for
obtaining witnesses in his favor …
When was Judge Hart informed of "the facts?" Was there a secret trial to which Public
Defender Todd was not invited—like a phone call between the judge and the DA's
office? Apparently, DA Boettcher was present at that secret briefing. During the
bail hearing, he commented:
Your honor, as the court already indicated, the court is very much aware of the facts in
In relevant part, the Oregon Constitution states:
No court shall be secret, but justice shall be administered, openly and without purchase,
completely and without delay, and every man shall have remedy by due course of law for
injury done him in his person, property, or reputation.
Secret information and gossip that may contaminate the impartiality of the legal process is
called ex parte communication.
What is EX PARTE?
On one side only; by or for one party; done for, in behalf of, or on the application of, one
party only. A judicial proceeding, order, injunction, etc., is said to be ex parte
when it is taken or granted at the instance and for the benefit of one party only, and
without notice to, or contestation by, any person adversely interested.
Public Defender Todd then volunteered discrediting information about Ketchem, that he was under
the influence of "some drugs" at the time of the incident. What prompted him to put that
in his argument?
And it would seem the function of the Public Defender is simply to give the appearance of
"assistance" for the accused, as required by the US and Oregon Constitutions—but in fact
assists the prosecution.
Public Defender Todd also recited Ketchem's previous "brushes" with the law: A 16-year
old conviction for failure to appear in Monmouth County and a successful
diversion (Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants treatment program).
Hmmm. Ketchem was scarcely Jack the Ripper! Todd then told the judge that
Ketchem would be "very motivated" to take care of business if bail were reduced.
Asst. DA Boettcher disagreed, and then brought a witness to the stand.
The Lone Ranger's Testimony
Judge Hart allowed the witness to testify without taking an oath. And the Public
Defender did not object.
As recorded by the police, early in the morning of January 22, 2019, the witness—the
same man who was on the stand giving testimony—chased Ketchem through the Grant
neighborhood brandishing a gun. That same man was now testifying to the danger that
Ketchem presented to the community. Public Defender Todd apparently saw no irony in the
situation and did not object.
Despite the police reports, neither the police, nor the District Attorney, nor the
Asst. District Attorney charged that gunman (whom we have called elsewhere "The Lone Ranger")
with his offenses against Oregon law. See The Lone Ranger
Among other things, the Lone Ranger testified against reduction in bail, citing his concern
that Ketchem would "relapse and cause additional harm to the community or to his family."
That witness said Ketchem should safely stay behind bars until he "can face the charges
But at that time, Ketchem had already been behind bars for 10 months, all the while refusing
to "confess" to arson, maintaining his innocence of that charge, and insisting on his
constitutional right to a trial.
The Lone Ranger continued:
"I don't believe that releasing him would provide any value to the
community, to his person, or his family—quite the opposite. I believe that would
create a lot of anxiety in our neighborhood through the holiday season—"
Note that the witness was permitted to speak on behalf of the "neighborhood," and the Public
Defender did not object to hearsay testimony.
We can understand the Lone Ranger's concerns about Ketchem's freedom. If
Ketchem regained his status and credibility as a citizen, the Lone Ranger's status and
credibility might be put at peril.
The Lone Ranger then recommended that the $1 million bail should be maintained. Then,
"from the bottom of my heart," the Lone Ranger wished that Ketchem "and his family" would get
the help they needed.
From Judge Hart:
"That's very well articulated."
The Lone Ranger went on to say:
"I've been involved at Marion County at various levels. I understand how
probation works in Marion County, and I don't think that that's adequate
supervision for Mr. Ketchem."
Judge Hart did not ask the Lone Ranger to describe his "involve[ment] at Marion County," or to
cite his credentials as an expert on the subject of probation and supervision. Perhaps
he was known personally to Judge Hart? And throughout, Ketchem's Public Defender
Judge Hart went on to say that Ketchem was "in a pre-trial status with a presumption of
innocence as to each of these offenses …" and so could not be forced into a treatment
program at that time. (We will revisit Judge Hart's "presumption of innocence" below.)
Then the Lone Ranger added,
"My recommendation, then, with all due respect, Your
Honor, is for Mr. Ketchem to simply enter a guilty plea on all charges that he's
facing, and he accepts the punishment, and enter into rehabilitation for himself, for his
family, and for the community."
Note that The Lone Ranger echoed the demands of the District Attorney's Office, urging that
be denied his right to trial and that
plead guilty to arson, thus letting the SWAT Team off the hook for its embarrassing use
of excessive force.
The public Defender did not object to this "testimony."
Judge Hart responded to The Lone Ranger's "recommendations":
"Well, that's an option, too, but I haven't had anybody jumping on board for that,
so what we're going to do is—I am not going to reduce bail, nor am I going to
remove the Public Safety Override."
"Public safety override"? (Also called "PSO" in this hearing.) What kind of
threat to public safety was Ketchem? A 16-year old failure to appear and a more recent
DUII diversion could hardly justify a $1 million bail. Recently, two young men were
arrested for armed robbery in Bend, Oregon. The bail for the suspects was set at $152,500
(KTVZ Feb. 6,
To Judge Hart, Ketchem Is Guilty Before Trial
Far from the "presumption of innocence" he had earlier said was required of him, Judge Hart
berated Ketchem for all that Judge Hart was now convinced Ketchem had done.
"This wasn't just a one-off. This was like hours of trauma for the folks on Capital
Street. And there was a dog that was injured and a cat was killed—that will have
lasting effects for the people that suffered that. The worst part about it—you know,
I've been here for over thirty-two years — Judge Sloper used to sit on this bench
Section starts at 9:23.
The Lone Ranger's name is redacted.
Judge Hart gave the impression he has been sitting on the Bench for "over thirty-two years,"
but that is not true. Thomas Hart graduated from law school in 1986 and worked with the
Marion County District Attorney's Office from 1987 until 1998 when he was elected as a
judge. He has been a judge for approx. 21 years, not 32.
It seems that Judge Hart conflates his role as a judge with his role as a prosecutor.
Judge Hart continued, addressing Ketchem:
"The worst thing you can do is violate somebody's home. And you did that over and
over for an extended period of time. And in fact, destroyed the house that they
finally—as far as I understand—I don't know whether they've rebuilt
the inside of that or not?"
Section starts at 10:00.3.
The Lone Ranger's name is redacted.
Thus did Judge Hart announce that he had reached a verdict on the case. He was already
convinced Ketchem is guilty as charged. And the trial date had not yet been set.
Plea Bargaining Requires All Parties to Cooperate in a Felony
Judge Hart asked:
[17:45] "I guess while I'm here today—Are you guys still in negotiations, or is
there an offer out there that people know and I would like to have put on the record so
that we know what we have going forward."
Keir Boettcher answered in the affirmative and Judge Hart asked to hear the offer.
"Your Honor, with regards to the offer, it would require the Defendant to plead guilty to
Counts 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 10, with dismissal of Counts 2, 5, 7, 9, and 11. That
would require that he plead guilty to count 1 burglary in the 2nd degree, where he would
ultimately receive an upward dispositional departure to six months in the Department of
Corrections. [18:28] This all runs concurrent essentially to Count 8, Your
Honor. If that's really what the bottom line is of what the Court wants to know.
"Ultimately when we get to Count 8 we are looking at—Count 8 is sixty months in
the Department of Corrections with no eligibility for any programming.
[Whispering: "…thirty consecutive months…"] And then ultimately Your
Honor there would be 30 months that would run consecutive to the 60 months in the
Department of Corrections. So the total offer, Your Honor, would be for 90 months
with no programming."
"Ninety—no programming on the second 30 either?" [18:52]
"On the second 30, either, Your Honor, yes."
"OK, so it's like 90 months."
"Ninety months is the offer."
And I doubt it will get any better from there, is that
correct? ["Nope."] You acknowledge you are in receipt of that offer?
"Yes, Your Honor, Mr. Boettcher sent that over to me a couple or
three or four weeks ago prior to the status conference where we set trial."
"Yes, and we have trial set. I am prepared to go forward. Do you
have a cut-off date on any of that?"
Keir Boettcher explained that the plea bargain offer would be withdrawn on December 18, one
week before Christmas 2019, so "we can get some closure before the Holidays."
Public Defender Todd spoke briefly about his plans for some minor actions on the case, and
then this from Judge Hart:
"So, OK, we are good to go. You understand, Mr. Ketchem, you need to deal with your
counsel and participate in your defense. There's been a lot of work that's already
been done and we have a trial date set. Should you choose to accept the offer, as
long as you don't get sideways with me, I would support your ability to resolve the case
through counsel with the district attorney. But if you get sideways with me, I won't go
along with it. OK?"
Section starts at 17:45.
The Lone Ranger's name is redacted.
Judge Hart did not explain what Ketchem might do to get "sideways" with him, or what might
happen to if Ketchem did get "sideways." But according to Oregon law, Ketchem would be
required to sign
Plea Petition. Point No. 14 of that petition requires the Defendant to lie to
the Court, attesting as follows:
14. Other than what is contained in this plea petition, I affirm that no one has
promised me anything to enter my plea of "Guilty" or "No Contest." I also
affirm that no one has threatened me or forced me to enter this
plea. … [Emphasis added]
Clause 22 also requires the defendant to lie to the Court:
22. I am signing this plea petition and entering this plea voluntarily,
intelligently, and knowingly with full understanding of all matters set forth in the
charging instrument and in this petition. [Emphasis added]
The threat of extra time in prison if he refuses to sign makes a lie of Clause 14 ("no one
has threatened me"). The promise of a reduced sentence for signing the plea agreement
makes another lie of Clause 14 ("no one has promised me anything").
Clause 22 ("I am … entering this plea voluntarily") is another blatant lie: No one
can be said to be signing "voluntarily" when threatened with years or decades in
prison. That statement would be recognized as a lie in any other context under
standard legal definitions.
The Certificate of Counsel, part of the Uniform Plea agreement, requires the Defendant's
lawyer to state:
4. To the best of my knowledge and belief, my client's decision to enter this plea is made
voluntarily, intelligently, and knowingly. [Emphasis added]
Thus, the Defendant's lawyer must also affirm the lie that the client's decision is "made
In full knowledge of the whole process, the judge signs his own false affirmation for the
record (Pg. 4):
The court makes the following findings regarding the defendant's plea of Guilty/No
Contest: Defendant's plea is made voluntarily, intelligently, and knowingly.
The judge has full knowledge that the defendant signed under threat and duress, yet denies
it with his signature.
Each of those persons (the judge, the defendant, and the defendant's lawyer) is engaged in
perjury, defined as a Class C felony in Oregon law:
(1) A person is guilty of criminal conspiracy if with the intent that conduct
constituting a crime punishable as a felony or a Class A misdemeanor be performed, the
person agrees with one or more persons to engage in or cause the performance of such
(2) Criminal conspiracy is a:
(c) Class C felony if an object of the conspiracy is commission of a Class C felony.
This situation also fits the definition of tampering with a witness. All, including
the judge and the District Attorney, are involved in this conspiracy:
(1) A person commits the crime of tampering with a witness if:
(a) The person knowingly induces or attempts to induce a witness or a person the person
believes may be called as a witness in any official proceeding to offer false testimony or
unlawfully withhold any testimony; …
(2) Tampering with a witness is a Class C felony.
Our courts set the standards of conduct in our society. But they endorse and promote lies.
When lying is the coin of the realm, society is doomed.
December 17 Letter to Judge Hart
Concerned about the November 26 hearing, I wrote to Judge
Hart on December 17, 2019. I reminded him of his June 5 intention to remain
uninformed of "the facts" so he could retain his impartiality before trial. I
expressed my concerns about the November 26 hearing. I included a print-out of "The
Siege on Summer Street," which clearly described the gaping illogics and contradictions in
the prosecutor's case. I also reminded the Judge of his failure to swear in the
witness who had, according to police reports, chased Ketchem through public streets with a
Judge Hart did not reply.
Communication From Kenneth Ketchem
On Christmas Eve, 2019, I received two envelopes of materials from Kenneth Ketchem. One
contained a handwritten letter. The first three pages addressed various aspects of the
case against him, the fourth page described his dissatisfaction with the representation given
him by Public Defender Todd. Among the complaints:
The Public Defender was trying to pressure him into accepting a plea bargain on the arson
The Public Defender refused to file a motion concerning the police removal of evidence
from the fire scene before the Fire Marshal's office had inspected.
The Public Defender did not want to do anything to upset the judge because that would earn
Ketchem more time in prison.
I scanned Page 4 and on December 30 sent it to Public Defender Todd by email, asking him if he
would address Ketchem's concerns. I received no reply.
January 9, 2020:
Hearing on Public Defender's Motion to Withdraw Official recording of the hearing is available
County Court Records
On January 9, 2020, Ketchem was abruptly notified a hearing would be held that day.
Public Defender Todd had filed a motion asking to withdraw from representation.
Judge Hart opened the hearing by asking Ketchem:
"Why can't you work with your counsel?"
When Ketchem started to explain his objections to Public Defender Todd's representation, Judge
Hart interrupted him:
"Have you been to law school?"
Judge Hart must have known Ketchem had not been to law school. The question was
obviously posed to humiliate Ketchem and cut the ground from beneath his feet.
Ketchem continued to tell why he objected to his Public Defender's representation, but
Judge Hart interrupted him again:
"Have you been in contact with Ms. Decorsni [sic]?"
(Judge Hart was obviously referring to this writer, whose last name is "DeCoursey").
"Uh? DeCoursey? Yes." (Ketchem pronounced my name correctly.)
Judge Hart, apparently giving an order to a jail official, went on to say:
want to get the jail calls. I want to hear what's been being said.
(OK.) OK. Because she's been writing the courts and writing the
lawyers. And she's been interfering with this prosecution."
Ketchem tried to disagree, but Judge Hart overrode him:
Section starts at 1:28.
The Lone Ranger's name is redacted.
Whoa! Shouldn't a judge who hopes to be "impartial" at trial be equally concerned with the
But still, Public Defender Todd was silent. Surely his client has the right to talk to
people when he is in jail, particularly if he is asserting his innocence?
Moments later Judge Hart again returned to the subject of Everyone's Business
"And I would direct the State to go through every one of the phone calls because I believe
that the information supports that there is interference with the wheels of justice with
regard to this theory that has now arisen."
Section starts at 3:13.5.
The Lone Ranger's name is redacted.
No law shall be passed restraining the free expression of opinion, or restricting the right
to speak, write, or print freely on any subject whatever; but every person shall be
responsible for the abuse of this right.
So it seems that Judge Hart is displeased that Ketchem's story is seeing the light of
day. Note that Judge Hart expressed no concern about the obvious contradictions and
illogics of the prosecution's, case, duly reported to him on December 17.
Who Is "Mr. Cossi"?
Ketchem asked if he could have a "non-Marion County" lawyer, and Judge Hart told
"You do not get to pick and choose. This is your third lawyer …
Mr. Habekost … Jonathan Clark was first appointed to this case. If you want him
to assist you, you can have him. He had Denny Mason and Jeff Jones, whom [sic] was retained
and paid for, until they, I guess, ran out of money. And then I appointed Mr. Todd and
Mr. Cossi to the case ..."
Section starts at 2:32.
The Lone Ranger's name is redacted.
When I met Spencer Todd, he was working from the office of Walter J. Todd, PC. — and
there was no "Mr. Cossi" associated with the firm. Was "Mr. Cossi" yet another
mispronunciation of my name? Perhaps Judge Hart is as confused about Ketchem's
representation as he is about his responsibilities as a judge.
Whom Do Our Public Servants Serve?
We have already visited some of Judge Hart's violations of his Oath of Office and the US and
Oregon constitutions. But what of the violations of the Marion County District Attorney
Paige Clarkson and those who serve under her? Here is the oath of office she signed in
I, Paige E. Clarkson, do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will support the Constitution of
the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Oregon, and that I will faithfully
and impartially discharge the duties of a District Attorney of Marion County, according to
the best of my ability.
The District Attorney and Assistant
District Attorneys are members of the Oregon State Bar. The Oath for Admission to the
practice of law in Oregon reads as follows:
That I will faithfully and honestly conduct myself in the office of an attorney in the
courts of the State of Oregon; that I will observe and abide by
the Rules of Professional Conduct
approved by the Supreme Court of the State of Oregon; and that I will support the
Constitution and laws of the United States and of the State of Oregon. To the court,
opposing parties and their counsel, I pledge fairness, integrity, and civility, not only in
court, but also in all written and oral communications.
And here is what the Office of the Secretary of State says about its 36 district attorneys.
Oregon's 36 district attorneys are responsible for safeguarding the rights of all
Oregonians, including both victims and defendants in criminal cases. As set forth in
the Oregon Constitution, district attorneys represent the public in criminal matters by
filing criminal charges where warranted by the law and available evidence.
NOTE: "… district attorneys represent the public in criminal matters by filing
criminal charges where warranted by … available evidence."
It is clear that the District Attorney has filed criminal charges against
Ketchem despite available evidence. The ruination of 1050 Summer Street was
caused by the Salem SWAT Team—and not by a BIC cigarette lighter in the hands of Kenneth
Ketchem. DA Clarkson has flagrantly abused the public trust and her Bar Oath as a
The purpose of holding Ketchem in jail is to force him to confess to a crime he did not
commit. Ketchem is being scapegoated and railroaded. It is tyranny under the
varnish of law and order.
This is not just Kenneth Ketchem's problem. The process of wrongful prosecution by
corrupt and ambitious officials could happen to any of us. If the machinery is left in
place—deceitful police, compliant forensic inspectors, vindictive prosecutors, and
despotic judges—none of us is safe from the "wheels of justice" (to use Judge Hart's apt
Both Thomas Hart and Paige Clarkson should be recalled. They are usurpers
of our rights.
A tyranny is a cruel, harsh, and unfair government in which a person or small group of people
have power over everyone else. Shades of the Gulag Archipelago, right here in Marion