Francke brothers: Release 'probably not guilty' killer
The brothers of the slain head of the Oregon Department of Corrections have asserted their victims' rights to be consulted on future legal decisions concerning the convicted killer.
Kevin and Patrick Francke have long believed that Frank Gable did not kill their brother Michael on Jan. 17, 1989. A federal judge recently ruled that Gable did not receive a fair trial, is probably innocent, and must be either retried or released.
The Oregon Attorney General and Marion County District Attorney could also appeal the ruling.
"Kevin and Patrick Francke are aware of the recent sudden change in the certainty of the conviction of the individual found guilty, 28 years ago, of killing their brother, Michael," reads an April 30 letter from their attorney Steven Krasik to Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson.
"They know the current conviction's future is immediately dependent upon tactical decisions by the Attorney General and the District Attorney," the letter continues. "They are concerned about the possibly of an elective retrial of the 'probably not guilty' now-convicted individual."
The letter says the brothers are asserting and reasserting new and previous victims' rights in the Oregon Constitution and state law. Among other things, they are requesting to be contacted by the district attorney's office and consulted about any decision concerning the ruling.
U.S. Magistrate Judge John Acosta issued his ruling on April 18 in response to an extensively researched appeal filed by the Federal Public Defenders Office.
"Upon careful review of the voluminous record in this case and considering all of the evidence, both old and new and with due regard for its reliability, the court concludes that Gable has made a colorable showing of actual innocence sufficient to overcome his procedural default," Acosta wrote.
"Although the evidence presented at trial in 1991 resulted in a guilty verdict, the court concludes that it is more likely than not that no reasonable juror would find Gable guilty in light of the totality of all of the evidence uncovered since that time, particularly the newly presented evidence of witness recantations."
The Francke brothers had not heard from the Oregon Department of Justice or the Marion County District Attorney's Office by press time. When murderer Christian Longo appealed his conviction and the family of his victim claimed their victims rights, the justice department filed notice of the claim with the Marion County Circuit Court and provided coordinated services to them through the Post-Conviction Program of the Crime Victims' Services Division of its Crime Victims' Rights Unit in 2011.
You can read the letter here.
You can read the ruling here.
To learn more
For a collection of Portland Tribune stories on this case, go to http://Pamplinmedia.com/FranckeMurder