District attorneys are the most powerful elected players in the criminal justice system, yet most people don’t know who they are or what they do. Karen James interviews David Rogers, Executive Director, ACLU of Oregon and Daniel Lewkow, manager of THEY REPORT TO YOU, ACLU’s new campaign to educate the public about DAs, who they are and how to hold them accountable.
District attorneys are the gatekeepers to the criminal justice system for kids and adults. They decide:
- When to pursue charges against a youth or instead allow their families or schools to address that youth’s behavior.
- When a kid’s behavior gets addressed through the state juvenile system.
- When a kid’s behavior gets addressed using adult criminal punishment.
- Whether a person who has been arrested should be kept in jail or set free.
- Who gets charged and who does not get charged with a crime.
- The seriousness of the crime or crimes charged against a person.
- Whether or not to charge a person with a crime that has a mandatory minimum prison sentence.
- When charges should be dropped or dismissed because of a lack of evidence.
- When a witness should be held in jail even if he/she committed no crime.
- How fair the plea offer is.
- When a person should get the opportunity to enter a diversion or treatment program.
- What recommendations the state will support for a person’s probation.
- The amount of cash bail the state wants to put on a person in jail awaiting a trial.
- When a person will face a death sentence.
They Report to You empowers Oregonians to improve our criminal justice system by redefining the role of district attorneys, increasing voter engagement with these important elected positions, cultivating district attorney candidates who want to reform the criminal justice system, and encouraging the Governor to appoint reform-minded district attorneys.
They Report to You https://theyreporttoyou.org/
Who’s my DA? https://theyreporttoyou.org/get-the-facts/whos-my-da