Red Justice in a Blue State
Oregon has one of the worst criminal justice systems in the country. These prosecutors are largely to blame.
Here’s a riddle: What state incarcerates a higher percentage of its black population than Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana?
I’ll bet you didn’t guess Oregon.
Indeed, the Beaver State locks up its black citizenry at a rate twice that of Georgia and Mississippi. Oregon also has the second highest rate of youth transferred to adult court after Florida. It is the only state besides Louisiana that allows non-unanimous jury verdicts in criminal cases, and it is the only state besides Texas to require “future dangerousness,” a discredited and scientifically bankrupt jury determination, as a determining factor in sentencing people to death.
How does Oregon, a state that has voted blue in every gubernatorial and presidential election since 1988 and which was one of the first states to legalize marijuana, end up with a criminal justice system that more closely resembles the Deep South than its West Coast neighbors?
The blame lies in significant part…