Note: This bill was previously known as HB 3148
Nobody should be forced to wave their core rights. Well over 90 percent of all cases in Oregon’s criminal justicesystem get resolved through plea agreements, but until very recently, this process has received almost no attention from policy-makers.
Due to prosecutorial charging discretion, high mandatory minimum sentences, and intense systematic pressures, defendants often forgo their constitutional right to a trial. Instead, they engage in a plea bargain process that functions almost completely through prosecutorial discretion without oversight or accountability mechanisms.
HB 3149 establishes some basic checks and balances in the process by:
- Protecting fundamental rights and due process
- Protecting access to legislatively created rehabilitation programs designed to reduce recidivism
Whether people are scared, confused, or feeling pressuredby the system, plea negotiations should not include offers to waive core rights.