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News Releases
DA Mike Schmidt announces prosecutor attitudes, perspectives, and priorities survey report live for public inspection - 01/25/22

January 25 2022 

Elisabeth Shepard, Communications Director 

eth.Shepard@mcda.us">Elisabeth.Shepard@mcda.us 

 

DA Mike Schmidt announces prosecutor attitudes, perspectives, and priorities survey report live for public inspection 

PORTLAND, Oregon – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that a report following a Prosecutor Attitudes, Perspectives, and Priorities survey conducted last year is live for public inspection. 

The survey was conducted both as an anonymous written survey and through one-on-one interviews. It provides qualitative and quantitative data about how prosecutors think about success, racial justice, community engagement, and the use of scientific knowledge as they review and prosecute criminal cases. 

It was conducted by Dr. Kelsey Henderson. Dr. Henderson is an Assistant Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice at Portland State University. She received her Ph.D. in Criminology, Law, and Society from the University of Florida in 2016. She conducts research on the American Courts system, specifically focusing on how people make decisions within the legal system.

The findings, while broad and high level, light the way for several avenues to re-envision the Multnomah County District Attorney's Offices' (MCDA) role in building a more just and effective office. The Prosecutor Attitudes, Perspectives, and Priorities survey is a key touchstone to MCDA’s larger Prosecutorial Performance Indicators (PPI) project in partnership with Florida International University and Loyola University of Chicago. MCDA is one of just a handful of District Attorney’s offices in the country taking the initiative to lead the way in data transparency through PPIs. 

The PPI project aims to provide new measures of prosecutorial success and ameliorate racial and ethnic disparities that can emerge from criminal case processing. This partnership is funded through the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, which Multnomah County has been part of since the inception of this landmark initiative.

Data transparency has been among DA Mike Schmidt’s top priorities since taking office, developing and publishing the Protest Case and Gun Violence Case data dashboards within his first year as the elected DA. This survey report is the first of what will be a number of data sets made available for public inspection in 2022 through MCDAs PPI project and other data transparency efforts, including a hate crimes dashboard. 

Advancing MCDAs and the public’s understanding of Prosecutor Attitudes, Perspectives, and Priorities as the first PPI project is by design. 

“The work to end racial disparities in the criminal justice system must start by looking in the mirror and analyzing our own core values and beliefs that guide decision making, and moreover, making those things known to the communities we serve,” DA Mike Schmidt said.

See below for the full Prosecutor Attitudes, Perspectives, and Priorities survey report, including Forward written by DA Mike Schmidt. 

#MCDA#

 

Attached Media Files: MCDA PPI Survey Report
DA Schmidt announces bipartisan law preventing catalytic converter theft is now in effect - 01/10/22

January 10, 2022 

Elisabeth Shepard, Communications Director 

eth.Shepard@mcda.us">Elisabeth.Shepard@mcda.us 

DA Schmidt announces bipartisan law preventing catalytic converter theft is now in effect 

PORTLAND, Oregon – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that a bipartisan state law, introduced at his request, has taken effect as of January 1, 2022. The law, SB 803, sponsored by State Senator Chris Gorsek (D), and co-sponsored by State Senator Bill Kennemer (R) was crafted to prevent catalytic converter thefts in Oregon. 

“This legislation earned broad support from legislators, law enforcement agencies, and the scrap metal industry. It will provide Oregonians across the state relief from being victims of catalytic converter thefts while conserving limited resources across law enforcement for other serious crimes,” said State Senator Gorsek (D). 

Catalytic converter thefts have dramatically increased the last few years. Senior Deputy District Attorney Kevin Demer, who prosecutes these crimes in the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, thought up a solution in time for the 2021 legislative session in Salem. 

“Beer kegs are made up of valuable metal, yet we don’t have an epidemic of beer keg theft. That’s because there are market protections in place that make it nearly impossible to profit from selling them because there are no buyers,” said Demer. 

“SB 803 works the same way.  Most catalytic converters ultimately end up in the chain-of-commerce at large recycling companies.  These companies absolutely do not want to purchase stolen catalytic converters and with this law, only legitimately acquired catalytic converters will have the proper paperwork and be purchasable. Just like how these recycling companies do not purchase beer kegs without proper paperwork, they will not purchase catalytic converters without proper paperwork,” Demer continued. 

SB 803 targets the increase of catalytic converter thefts in two ways. First, it limits the sales of catalytic converters to commercial vendors only, which creates a barrier to selling them on the black market. Second, it requires that scrap metal businesses retain the make, model year, vehicle identification number, and license number associated with catalytic converters they purchase in order to redeem their value. This ensures that even those unscrupulous commercial vendors willing to buy stolen catalytic converters are unable to profit from them. 

“Rather than asking for more money to throw at the problem, SB 803 gets straight to the point by eliminating the financial incentive to steal a catalytic converter,”  said State Senator Kennemer (R).

“We can’t rely only on arrest and prosecution to solve this problem. SB 803 strikes at the heart of catalytic converter theft by taking away the market.  This will help us get upstream of this scourge and allow us to focus our limited resources more effectively,” DA Schmidt said. 

#MCDA#


 

DA Mike Schmidt announces two convictions in homicide of pregnant mother - 01/07/22

January 7, 2022

Contact:

Elisabeth Shepard, Communications Director

eth.shepard@mcda.us">Elisabeth.shepard@mcda.us

 

DA Mike Schmidt announces two convictions in homicide of pregnant mother

PORTLAND, Ore. – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that De’Anthony Simmons, 27, and Kelani Brown, 29, pleaded guilty to charges of Manslaughter in the Second Degree with a Firearm and Burglary First Degree arising from the homicide of Ervaeua Ronchelle Herring. Simmons received a sentence of 10 years in prison and Brown received a sentence of 7.5 years in prison.

In August of 2014, a fight occurred in Downtown Portland. Brown and Simmons were present during the fight when an associate of theirs was shot. In retaliation, Brown, Simmons, and others drove to Herring’s apartment complex looking for DeAndrae Stevens, who was associated with individuals that participated in the fight. Herring and Stevens shared a child.

Six armed gunmen first entered the wrong apartment and threatened the resident and her small children with guns. Realizing their mistake, the gunmen knocked on Herring’s back door and fired approximately 30 shots into the apartment when she came to the door, killing Herring. Investigation revealed gang activity as a common thread between the defendants in this case and Stevens.

Trial was scheduled to commence Monday, January 10. The prosecution was hampered by multiple critical witnesses’ reluctance to testify due to safety concerns. Stevens was fatally shot two weeks ago in Portland which contributed to further concern and lack of cooperation among critical witnesses.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office acknowledges the incredible tragedy and loss to the family of Ervaeua Herring.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Kirsten Snowden and Senior Deputy District Attorney Nathan Vasquez commend the hard work of the Portland Police Bureau and lead Detective Anthony Merrill for their commitment to this protracted and important investigation. The Portland Police Bureau estimates that the murder of Herring has triggered more than 150 retaliatory shootings since 2014.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office generally refrains from publishing the names of victims. An exception was made in this case in light of the public discourse regarding this incident.

#MCDA#