In March, 2011, the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission released an exhaustive study on the impact of Measure 11 since it was approved by voters in 1994.
The results of the study should lay the foundation for reform. Among the most important findings of the study: Measure 11 disproportionately targets people who are not “career criminals,” and who could be rehabilitated. Of those convicted of Measure 11 crimes, 70 percent had no prior felony record and weren’t considered “career criminals.”
Prosecutors use the threat of a Measure 11 sentence to coerce guilty pleas. Juries handled just 15 percent of cases involving Measure 11 crimes. Hispanics are 40 percent more likely than whites to be sentenced to prison. Blacks are 15 percent less likely.
Oregon would need 2,900 fewer prison beds if Measure 11 hadn’t taken effect. Defendants who hire private attorneys are 25 percent less likely to be convicted of a Measure 11 charge.
Criminal Justice Commission Study: