CJRC provides legal assistance to people interested in filing pro se petitions for post conviction relief based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s case striking down non-unanimous jury convictions in criminal cases, Ramos v. Louisiana. CJRC will also be reviewing cases and litigating some of the related legal issues.
Youth Legal Clinic (in the Oregon Youth Authority)
CJRC provides legal services to incarcerated youth throughout the Oregon Youth Authority with a focus on assisting youth in accessing the courts, using the law library, understanding their rights and legal issues, filing legal documents and assessing legal claims.
Forensic Justice Project
CJRC works directly with the Forensic Justice Project, which helps Oregon attorneys in criminal cases understand and challenge faulty or misleading forensic evidence.
CJRC represents individuals in different types of hearings and reviews in front of Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision.
CJRC represents people in their claims for clemency. CJRC petitions the governor to commute or pardon sentences that are unfair, egregiously long or may have involved a miscarriage of justice and where people have rehabilitated themselves while incarcerated.
Past research projects have included a study/report of the cost of Oregon’s death penalty (2016), a study/report of Multnomah County Detention Center with DRO (2017), a study/report about the arrests at Multnomah County’s hospitals with DRO (2019). Current research projects include an examination of Oregon’s parole system and a data project and survey on felony murder.
Amicus Curiae Briefs
CJRC writes amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs for both Oregon and federal courts on issues that relate to the Clinic’s work on criminal justice reform. CJRC has submitted briefs to the United States Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Oregon’s Supreme Court and Court of Appeals and county circuit courts around the state.
CJRC gets involved with writing and advocating for legislation related to project and case work. For example, in the 2019 legislative session, we worked to update Oregon’s pardon statute and narrow Oregon’s death penalty law, and to create a new law to expunge marijuana arrests and convictions. And in the 2021 session, worked to pass SB 819 which establishes a procedure for people convicted of and sentenced for felony offenses with the District Attorney’s Office to jointly petition their sentencing court for reconsideration of their conviction/s or sentence/s if the original sentence no longer advances “the interests of justice.”