How Tough Federal Prosecutor Decided Not To Send A Defendant To Prison


The Oregonian tells the story of how a tough federal prosecutor in Portland became friendly with a defendant after they were forced to meet with a judge twice a month. In 2013, DeQuandre Davis, who had been convicted of a robbery, was arrested with a gun and tested positive for marijuana. Judge Paul Papak refused prosecutor Stacie Beckerman’s request to jail Davis until trial and ordered him to participate in something called the Court Assisted Pretrial Supervision program. It’s a way to keep defendants out of trouble while their cases make their way through the system. “I was apoplectic,” Beckerman said. “He needed to be put away.”

Davis eventually pled guilty to the gun charge, and he faced 10 years in federal prison. After many sessions, Beckerman came to believe that Davis was trying to make meaningful changes in his life, that he had found the right attitude. Davis found work on an assembly line at a local food company and enrolled in a community college. Finally, Beckerman recommended that a judge not send Davis to prison, and he was put on probation. Surprisingly, the defendant attended the ceremony where Beckerman became a judge herself. “The culture needs to change,” she said, explaining that now, “The measure of a prosecutor’s success is the length of prison sentence they obtain.”

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