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We believe in a criminal justice system that works for all of us


It is time to reimagine and transform our criminal justice system. As Oregonians, we can do more to ensure justice is done for victims and their families, defendants, and our communities. Fairness, accountability, and evidence-based practices should always be the foundation of our criminal justice system.

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We believe in a criminal justice system that works for all of us


It is time to reimagine and transform our criminal justice system. As Oregonians, we can do more to ensure justice is done for victims and their families, defendants, and our communities. Fairness, accountability, and evidence-based practices should always be the foundation of our criminal justice system.

Mass Incarceration


Mass incarceration has failed. 25 percent of the world's prisoners are locked up here in the US despite our country representing just five percent of the global population. Attempting to address social problems such as poverty, homelessness, and mental illness by incarcerating more people has not worked. We need to take a smarter approach to crime: one that hasn't shown itself to be discriminatory toward people of color and those living in the margins.

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Mass Incarceration


Mass incarceration has failed. 25 percent of the world's prisoners are locked up here in the US despite our country representing just five percent of the global population. Attempting to address social problems such as poverty, homelessness, and mental illness by incarcerating more people has not worked. We need to take a smarter approach to crime: one that hasn't shown itself to be discriminatory toward people of color and those living in the margins.

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Innocence and Wrongful Convictions


No criminal justice system will ever get the right answer every time but there's a lot we can do to ensure that Oregon's courts don't send innocent people to prison for crimes they did not commit. The wrong person may be convicted due to faulty eyewitness testimony, false confessions, mistakes with forensics, government misconduct, inadequate defense, or inaccurate information provided by informants.

While innocent people in prison undoubtedly suffer from being convicted and deprived of their freedom, victims, their families, and our community are also harmed. Locking up the wrong person means the guilty person is free and may go on to commit further crimes. Learn how Oregon Innocence Project is helping wrongfully convicted people clear their names.

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Innocence and Wrongful Convictions


No criminal justice system will ever get the right answer every time but there's a lot we can do to ensure that Oregon's courts don't send innocent people to prison for crimes they did not commit. The wrong person may be convicted due to faulty eyewitness testimony, false confessions, mistakes with forensics, government misconduct, inadequate defense, or inaccurate information provided by informants.

While innocent people in prison undoubtedly suffer from being convicted and deprived of their freedom, victims, their families, and our community are also harmed. Locking up the wrong person means the guilty person is free and may go on to commit further crimes. Learn how Oregon Innocence Project is helping wrongfully convicted people clear their names.

Death Penalty


Oregon's death penalty is broken. Although capital punishment is still a lawful sentence, our state has not executed anyone since 1997 and with good reason. The death penalty is a deeply flawed punishment that isn't doing anything to make us safer.

On taking office in 2015, Governor Kate Brown continued the moratorium on the use of capital punishment. Still, 35 people remain on Oregon's death row.

Despite not carrying out executions, the death penalty is still costing taxpayers a fortune. There's also a high price to pay for victims' families who must relive their ordeal over and over again through many years of appeals.

We know that in other states people have been wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death, spending many years on death row before their innocence was discovered.

Repealing the death penalty and replacing it with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is the best approach for our state — removing the possibility that an innocent person will be executed, saving limited tax dollars, protecting public safety and providing certainty and justice to the families of victims. Oregon needs to join the national movement to end the use of a punishment that has had its day.

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Death Penalty


Oregon's death penalty is broken. Although capital punishment is still a lawful sentence, our state has not executed anyone since 1997 and with good reason. The death penalty is a deeply flawed punishment that isn't doing anything to make us safer.

On taking office in 2015, Governor Kate Brown continued the moratorium on the use of capital punishment. Still, 35 people remain on Oregon's death row.

Despite not carrying out executions, the death penalty is still costing taxpayers a fortune. There's also a high price to pay for victims' families who must relive their ordeal over and over again through many years of appeals.

We know that in other states people have been wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death, spending many years on death row before their innocence was discovered.

Repealing the death penalty and replacing it with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is the best approach for our state — removing the possibility that an innocent person will be executed, saving limited tax dollars, protecting public safety and providing certainty and justice to the families of victims. Oregon needs to join the national movement to end the use of a punishment that has had its day.

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Juvenile Justice


We need to reduce the criminalization and incarceration of young people, particularly youth from disenfranchised communities. The punitive "tough on crime" response to youth crime and misbehavior does not work. Juveniles should not be subjected to mandatory minimum sentences and should always have a meaningful opportunity for earned release. We must recognize and accept that young people are still developing and should be given opportunities for treatment, rehabilitation, and positive reinforcement. Ending excessive sentences and extreme punishments of juveniles is of the utmost importance to protect young people in the justice system and our wider communities.

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Juvenile Justice


We need to reduce the criminalization and incarceration of young people, particularly youth from disenfranchised communities. The punitive "tough on crime" response to youth crime and misbehavior does not work. Juveniles should not be subjected to mandatory minimum sentences and should always have a meaningful opportunity for earned release. We must recognize and accept that young people are still developing and should be given opportunities for treatment, rehabilitation, and positive reinforcement. Ending excessive sentences and extreme punishments of juveniles is of the utmost importance to protect young people in the justice system and our wider communities.

Collateral Consequences


Jail and prison time, fines, restitution, probation, and parole are all punishments for crime. It's right and just that people face the consequences of their actions. But for many formerly incarcerated individuals, their sentence doesn't end when they walk out of prison. There are more than 1100 laws in Oregon that limit people's ability to successfully reintegrate into society. It's better for all of us if those leaving our jails and prisons are able to make a new life for themselves that doesn't involve crime.

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Collateral Consequences


Jail and prison time, fines, restitution, probation, and parole are all punishments for crime. It's right and just that people face the consequences of their actions. But for many formerly incarcerated individuals, their sentence doesn't end when they walk out of prison. There are more than 1100 laws in Oregon that limit people's ability to successfully reintegrate into society. It's better for all of us if those leaving our jails and prisons are able to make a new life for themselves that doesn't involve crime.

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Sentencing Reform


Mandatory minimums, three strikes, and truth in sentencing laws are overly punitive. These policies take away the ability of judges to weigh up all aspects of a case and impose an appropriate sentence. They represent a transfer of sentencing decisions from the judiciary who are required to be impartial and who make their judgements in public in a court to prosecutors who have total discretion over what charges to bring against a defendant and whether to engage in plea bargaining and who make their charging decisions in private. A smart on crime approach to sentencing reform will allow judges more flexibility and the power to determine appropriate punishments. With proportional sentences, we can both reduce sentence lengths and improve public safety.

SCROLL DOWN

Sentencing Reform


Mandatory minimums, three strikes, and truth in sentencing laws are overly punitive. These policies take away the ability of judges to weigh up all aspects of a case and impose an appropriate sentence. They represent a transfer of sentencing decisions from the judiciary who are required to be impartial and who make their judgements in public in a court to prosecutors who have total discretion over what charges to bring against a defendant and whether to engage in plea bargaining and who make their charging decisions in private. A smart on crime approach to sentencing reform will allow judges more flexibility and the power to determine appropriate punishments. With proportional sentences, we can both reduce sentence lengths and improve public safety.