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 in the future.
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 a 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.
Community Law (Barrier Reduction) Project
Community Law, a project CJRC does in connection with Metropolitan Public Defender’s Community Law Division, seeks to remove barriers that keep individuals in poverty. This includes removing barriers downstream from the criminal justice system through expungements, fine/fee waivers and felony reductions along with addressing legal issues related to an individual’s family, housing, debt or public benefits.
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 incarcerated women lifers 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. The Clinic has submitted briefs to the United States Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Oregon’s Supreme Court and Court of Appeals and Multnomah County Circuit Court.
This past legislative session CJRC was involved with writing and advocating for legislation 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.