Karen James interviews David Rogers, Executive Director of ACLU of Oregon, about his 2019 report “A Peek Behind The Curtain: Shining Some Light on District Attorney Policies in Oregon” and promotes HB 3224, passed in the 2019 Oregon Legislature, that requires every district attorney to create policies for the core functions of their office and make them available to the public.
District attorneys and their prosecutors are the most powerful actors in the criminal justice system. They make decisions every day about who they charge, who gets treatment or diversion programs, which victims get support, and how they ensure that people of color are treated fairly. But currently there is no requirement in Oregon that DA offices have publicly available policies that create reasonable transparency about the core functions of their office. Without meaningful and public policies and guidelines, unchecked prosecutorial discretion can lead to unequal treatment, rogue prosecutors, confusion for victims and defendants, and the inability of Oregonians to understand and effectively question what’s happening in our justice system.
HB 3224 Directs district attorney of each county to, no later than December 1, 2020, develop and adopt policies relating to discovery, charging decisions and case disposition and to make policies available to public on website.
This episode previously aired in May 2019.
Read ACLU of Oregon report: https://aclu-or.org/en/publications/peek-behind-curtain-shining-some-light-district-attorney-policies-oregon