Multnomah County prosecutors have been breaking an Oregon law for decades. After questions raised by a public defender and WW, they pledged to abandon the illegal practice.
District attorneys are required by state law to file a record with the court whenever a grand jury dismisses a felony charge. Before such a case can go to trial, grand jurors weigh its merits—and can declare the prosecutor doesn’t have enough evidence by issuing what’s called a “not a true bill” ruling. Prosecutors are required to record that decision.
Instead, Multnomah County prosecutors had been filing a standard “state unable to proceed” form, which is the document they file if they want to drop charges or wait until police gather more evidence before taking a case to court.
If a grand jury dismisses a case, prosecutors must get a court order to bring it before another grand jury. Defense attorneys say the prosecutors’ practice made it possible for the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office to secretly bring cases before multiple grand juries without getting the required court order.Read More (Offsite)