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Injustice: An investigation into Oregon's broken public defender system

To better understand the statewide crisis, KGW heard from three people directly impacted by the shortage of public defenders.

Kyle Iboshi (KGW)

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Published: 2:32 PM PDT October 24, 2022
Updated: 5:52 PM PDT October 25, 2022

Oregon’s public defender system is broken. There aren’t enough lawyers.

The crisis has left roughly 1,300 low-income criminal defendants statewide without legal representation — including more than a dozen who are in custody facing serious felony charges.

The state’s public defender system, which provides lawyers for those who can’t afford them, has been underfunded and short-staffed for decades, but a backlog of cases from the pandemic has pushed it to a breaking point.

To better understand this crisis, KGW spoke with several people directly impacted by the shortage of public defenders in Oregon.

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