The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon just launched a major, multi-year campaign to reform our state’s criminal justice system. We want to improve the system so it is more fair, just and effective. But instead of focusing on police departments, sheriffs’ deputies or judges, we’re focusing on 36 individuals who most Oregon voters know little about: district attorneys.
District attorneys are the most powerful actors in the criminal justice system. Among their many powers, district attorneys decide who gets charged with a crime or who goes free. They decide when youth are charged as adults, and who gets treatment or goes to jail. It’s district attorneys who decide whether to charge a police officer for misconduct and when to pursue the death penalty.
We’ve found that Oregonians are largely unfamiliar with the role district attorneys play, and most of us don’t know they’re elected.Read More (Offsite)