We rely on elections to elevate conversations around important issues, but with DAs, that isn’t happening, which is a major reason why district attorneys can be roadblocks to commonsense criminal justice reform efforts.
In Oregon, long-time district attorneys often retire early, before their terms have been completed. Why? In some cases, this allows the existing district attorneys to hand pick their successors. However, it is not technically the outgoing DA’s job to pick their successor. The existing DA can only make a recommendation. In Oregon, it is the governor who appoints interim DAs to serve until the next election.