Multnomah County DA calls the lack of public defenders an 'urgent threat to public safety'

Nearly 300 criminal cases have been dismissed due to a lack of public defense attorneys.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Between February and October of 2022, 285 criminal court cases were dismissed in Multnomah County because of the lack of public defense attorneys. That large number prompted the county’s district attorney to weigh in this week hoping to draw more attention to the crisis.

A report by the American Bar Association released in January found that Oregon has only 31% of the public defenders it needs.

Multnomah County DA Mike Schmidt says so many cases being dismissed sends a message to individuals who have committed a crime

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