Many people may automatically assume that any prosecuting attorney or legal professional who works in a District Attorney’s office may be generally biased against defendants and may always be in favor of harsh sentences and other treatment of people accused of criminal offenses. This may not necessarily be true in all cases. In fact, The Appeal recently reported on the views of one person hoping to be the next District Attorney in Multnomah County. This candidate comes to the table promoting some significant reform of current criminal laws.
One of the ideas put forth by the candidate is the elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for defendants convicted of crimes. The reduction in prison and jail populations was one of the primary benefits cited in support of this concept. The candidate was also reported to indicate a preference for courts or programs that focus on solving problems rather than punishing people.
When it comes to offenses that relate to the possession of drugs, the candidate would like to see these treated more in line with how a basic traffic ticket is handled. He proposes eliminating criminal charges for a first offense and a second offense of drug possession.
Since Oregon legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes five years ago, other efforts to reduce the impact of drug charges have been made. One example, as explained by KVAL, was the effort rolled out last year that eliminated the need for people to undergo background checks, provide fingerprint samples or pay fees simply to have their pot-related convictions expunged from their records.