September 29, 2023
PORTLAND, Oregon – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt released a list of cases impacted by the public defense crisis. The list includes felony cases dismissed by the JC3 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 charged with a crime have a constitutional right to defense counsel. Victims have a right to justice. Absent counsel, criminal prosecutions cannot lawfully move forward, and throughout the counsel shortage, cases issued by the office have been routinely dismissed over prosecutors’ objections.
DA Schmidt also declared that MCDA would publish cases dismissed due to the crisis each week to increase transparency and advance the public’s understanding of the scope of the crisis. Here is a breakdown of the types of felonies getting dismissed.
There were 20 cases dismissed by the court as a result of the public defense crisis between 9/15/2023 and 9/28/2023: