Oregon justice fires panel due to lack of public defenders

The unprecedented action comes as Oregon’s unique public defender system has come under such strain that it is at the breaking point.

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon’s chief justice fired all the members of the Public Defense Services Commission on Monday, frustrated that hundreds of defendants charged with crimes and who cannot afford an attorney have been unable to obtain public defenders to represent them.

The unprecedented action comes as Oregon’s unique public defender system has come under such strain that it is at the breaking point. Criminal defendants in Oregon who have gone without legal representation due to a shortage of public defenders filed a lawsuit

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