Below is the text from the survey we have asked Oregon's elected district attorneys to fill out. 

INTRO
Earlier this year, the ACLU of Oregon launched a campaign designed to increase the public’s knowledge of district attorneys (DAs) in the state. Reserach shows that voters have a limited understanding of the role DAs play in the state’s criminal justice system. Also, given the way DAs individually and collectively lobby around statewide policies, the ACLU will work to help the public better understand the policy positions of individual DAs and your Association on issues of voter concern.

The purpose of the survey is to:

1)      Better understand your current positions on several state policy issues that affect Oregon’s justice system. We think it is important for elected leaders to be transparent about where they stand on policy issues.

2)      Gather feedback from DAs about what metrics you think are important in evaluating the success of your work.

Completing this survey might take 15 minutes. We have roughly 50,000 members and supporters in Oregon, many of whom are your constituents. Please consider your time and commitment to completing this survey as part of your commitment to transparency and constituent engagement. 

*An asterisk indicates a required question. 

MATERIAL WITNESS
Oregon law currently allows for prosecutors to request a warrant to arrest and incarcerate someone in order to ensure they serve as a witness and testify in a criminal court proceeding. This law has been abused in Oregon. In Washington County, a man was held in jail for almost 900 days as a material witness even though he had committed no crime. That goes well beyond what anyone could consider reasonable.
 
Would you support a change in Oregon law that prevents someone from being incarcerated as a material witness for excessive periods of time? *
 
There are also examples of victims of sexual assault and domestic violence being arrested and incarcerated as material witnesses in Oregon. This practice is damaging and unjust and re-victimizes people who have already been harmed by serious crime.
 
Would you support modifying Oregon’s law to prevent the arrest and incarceration of crime victims as material witnesses? *
 
NON-UNANIMOUS JURY CONVICTIONS
Oregon is one of only two states in the country that allows for non-unanimous jury convictions. The other state is Louisiana. In both states, the history of these laws are steeped in bigotry and were designed to minimize the influence of non-white jurors. Additionally, non-unanimous jury convictions fly in the face of a core premise of justice in the United States: prosecutors must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. When two jurors have significant doubt, the State has not successfully made its case. There is a reason why every other state in the country other than Oregon and Louisiana requires unanimous juries to convict people; it’s the proper bar for such serious decisions that can take away liberty and freedom.
 
Do you support moving Oregon in line with the rest of the country and changing the law to require unanimous jury verdicts? *
 
 
MEASURE 11
In 1994, Ballot Measure 11 was passed which created mandatory minimums for serious, person to person crimes. The law has the dubious distinction of automatically treating 15, 16, and 17 year olds as adults in the criminal justice system as soon a prosecutor charges a young person with a Measure 11 offense. District attorneys have consistently opposed changes to Measure 11, even the most modest reforms designed to treat youth differently. The frequent argument made is that Measure 11 reflects the will of the people because voters passed Measure 11 in 1994 and also defeated a poorly-crafted proposal to repeal Measure 11 in 2000. But opposition to Measure 11 reform fails to acknowledge that voter sentiment is different two decades later, and research has demonstrated that our country knows so much more now about the best ways to hold young people accountable.
 
Here is just a sampling of what we know now that we didn’t know when Measure 11 was passed:
 
Trying young people as adults makes it more likely they will re-offend than if they were handled in the juvenile justice system.
Advances in understanding adolescent brain development clearly show that youth are different than adults and explain why youth age out of criminal and impulsive behavior.
There are more cost-effective , and proven approaches to reducing youth crime and recidivism.
Prosecuting youth as adults creates systemic barriers that prevent successful reentry into the community and increases the chances of reoffending.
 
Would you support some changes to the way Measure 11 treats young people automatically as adults? *
If you answered “yes," please specify which changes you are supportive of. If you answered “no,” you can add more context here.
 
Would you support increasing access to Second Look Hearings for youth convicted of a Measure 11 offense? *
If you answered “yes,” please describe what the increased access might look like. If you answered “no,” you can add more context here.
 
Would you agree to adopt an internal policy to never negotiate or agree to a plea deal where juveniles waive their right to a Second Look hearing? *
 
 
MEASURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DISTRICT ATTORNEYS IN OREGON
As we craft public education material to help increase voter awareness of and engagement with elected DAs, we would like your feedback about what kinds of metrics should be considered when assessing the effectiveness of individual DAs and their offices.
 
What metrics do you think the public should use to assess the effectiveness of district attorneys?
 
 

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