PORTLAND, Oregon – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt released a list of cases impacted by the public defense crisis. The data set includes the running total of cases dismissed by judges, the number of cases set over to a future date due to a lack of defense counsel.
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 prosecutor’s 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. The initial data set released, totaling 285 felony and misdemeanor cases dismissed, ranged from February 24, 2022, through October 31, 2022. Here is a breakdown of the types of felonies getting dismissed.
There were 53 cases set over between 12/2 and 12/8/22. There were three cases dismissed (all after being set over) in the same date range, bringing the running total to 300 cases dismissed due to lack of a public defender.
Dismissed cases 12/2 – 12/8: