PORTLAND, Oregon – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt released a list of cases impacted by the public defense crisis. The list includes cases dismissed by the court as a result of the crisis.
In November, DA Mike Schmidt called the public defense crisis (defined by a lack of public defenders to provide counsel to defendants) an urgent threat to public safety. Individuals suspected of a crime have the constitutional right to defense counsel. Victims have a right to justice. Absent counsel, criminal prosecutions cannot lawfully move forward, and issued cases are routinely dismissed over prosecutors’ objections.
DA Schmidt also declared that his office would publish cases impacted by the crisis each week to advance the public’s understanding of the scope of the crisis. Here is a breakdown of the types of felonies getting dismissed.
There were 3 cases dismissed by the court as a result of the public defense crisis between 3/10/2023 and 3/16/2023: