Oregon lawmakers take on making plea bargains fairer

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House of Representatives says some plea bargains offered defendants deprive them of fundamental rights.

The House unanimously passed a bill on Wednesday which seeks to reform plea deals and to make them fairer.

Among testimony presented was a plea agreement offered by prosecutors in Portland in which a woman charged with interfering with police and attempted assault of a public safety officer would have to surrender certain rights. Among them, the right to challenge a sentence as unconstitutionally cruel and unusual, the right to due process and habeas corpus.

The bill was endorsed by the American Civil Liberties Union and opposed by the Oregon District Attorneys Association. It next goes to the state Senate.