State v. Cloutier, 351 Or 68 (2011)

Holding:   Defendent who pled “no contest” can’t appeal eventual sentence based on a Due Process claim.

1)   “We ascertain the legislature’s intentions by examining the text of the statute in its context, along with relevant legislative history, and, if necessary, cannons of construction.” citing State v. Gaines. at p. 75.

2)   Defendant’s proposed construction based on “plain reading” of the statute, “while not wholly implausible * * * becomes untenable when considered in the light of other indicia of legislative intent, in particular,” other parts of the same statute, related statutes and prior judicial constructions. at p. 76.

3)  The common meanings of the word exceed is to “enlarge beyond” and the word maximum is “an upper limit.” Thus, it is awkward to include by implication the Due Process Clause in a sentence using those two words, as the clause sets no maximum sentence in the ordinary sense of the word. at p. 95.

4)   Courts cannot construe statutes by interpreting words in a vacuum. “Dictionaries, after all, do not tell us what words mean, only what words can mean, depending on their context and the particular manner in which their used. (cite omitted).” at p. 96.

5)   A statute’s context includes “other provisions of the same statute, the session laws, and related statutes. (cite omitted).” at p. 96.

6)   The fact that a proposed interpretation results in some redundancy is not necessarily fatal. However, “an interpretation that renders a statutory provision redundant should give us pause * * *.” at pp. 97-98.

7)   In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the legislature is presumed to use terms in related statutes consistently. (cite omitted)” at p. 99.

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