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Oregon lawmakers consider bills designed to reduce public spending on capital punishment cases.  It would limit District Attorneys' abilities to seek the death penalty in some circumstances. One bill would require prosecutors to file notice of intent to seek the death penalty within 180 days of an aggravated murder charge. District Attorneys say it could increase litigation. Don Rees with Multnomah County: “We now have in Oregon a death penalty system that works legally and constitutionally.” But Pat Ehlers, a Portland-based Public Defender says DA's don't want to lose any autonomy: “It simply says, make a decision about whether you’re going to charge a death penalty case in the first six months from the time you charge the case.”   

 

 

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