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New Report Finds Oregon Public Defender System is Flawed

A new report concludes that Oregon's system of public defenders for indigent people is so flawed it can't guarantee clients are getting the defense they're owed.

Posted: Dec. 13, 2018 11:26 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A new report concludes that Oregon's system of public defenders for indigent people is so flawed it can't guarantee clients are getting the defense they're owed.

Oregon Public Broadcasting says the report was completed by the Sixth Amendment Center, a nonprofit group studies how legal systems across the country are complying with the constitutional requirement.

The Oregon Legislature paid for the report, which cost $193,000. Report authors studied nine counties in depth, ranging from Harney to Multnomah.

The report found the state lacked oversight of attorneys with whom it contracts to provide public defense services. And the way it pays attorneys encourages them to deal with cases as quickly as possible.

The draft report will be presented to lawmakers and other state officials in Salem on Friday.

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