World’s worst prosecutor smacked down by his own constituents

So it looks like one good thing happened this little-noticed election day. Comeuppance has finally come for Astoria Oregon Prosecutor Joshua Marquis, the staunch death penalty defender who has argued over the years that innocent people basically never get convicted and that even DNA exonerations don’t mean someone is actually innocent. Though the final tally is still unofficial, it seems that the residents of Clatsop County have defeated a ballot measure Mr. Marquis supported which sought to make him one of this highest paying DA’s in the state.

That’s right, a single issue ballot initiative. The issue: His salary.

Josh Marquis

The hysterical history of the proposal, tells you everything you need to know about Joshua Marquis and provides a pretty window into the particular mindset of a rabid prosecutor. Marquis, a small town DA with an big city ego ingratiated himself to media outlets around the country by seeming willing to defend almost any prosecutorial excess. This was probably a lot of fun and it all went well for a while. In part due to his burgeoning national profile Marquis was re-elected to be the DA of Clatsop County. But having national aspiration can also lead one to ignore the home fires, and after repeatedly failing to turn in required performance evaluations and being dogged by suggestions that he is “abusive to staff” his own county commissioners voted to stop paying him the stipend they traditionally awarded him on top of his state salary.

Now most people when they have their pay cut feel stung and many with some spine might either resign or come in to their bosses and say “hey, clearly you’re unhappy, so let’s figure out how to make this better.” But no. A guy who was trying to become president of the National Association of District Attorney’s isn’t gonna just get the message. (Marquis recently lost that presidential election, presumably because even a group of prosecutors doesn’t want someone quite as rabid as he is leading them). So what did Marquis do? The end around.

Marquis supported an effort to gather thousands of signatures in order to make a law saying that he should get more money. Instead of making peace with his commissioners, or trying to understand why they might be unhappy with his antics, he arrogantly believed the voters would just authorize a pay raise. This, as much as anything else Marquis has written or said provides genuine insight into his view of what the law is and how it is to be used. The law, he seems to think, is an instrument of his own personal advancement, and it is to be used for precisely those purposes. It isn’t hard to see why that’s a dangerous attitude in a prosecutor.

Thank heavens, the citizens of Clatsop County thought different.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The final tally, and this is the real killer, Ballot Measure 4-123:
Yes - 6,596
NO - 6,666
You read that right. 6,666 NO votes. The only local daily paper on his side printing DAILY stories on how great he is with virtually ONLY the blogging community and the online forums telling people the truth about Marquis and he still lost! Read all about it at If you google Marquis and Daily Astorian you will see three months of slanted, unethical, yellow journalism at its peak. And still he lost. It was amazing. Marquis has promised that the commissioners who voted to take his stipend will "suffer the consequences." And now has started a campaign to recall one of them using the same paper and the same yellow journalism. You are so right about this man, Mr. Feige, he is the world's worst prosecutor and a very, very unethical man.

In one instance he colluded with one of the commissioners to petition for his salary to be on a ballot measure before the final vote on the stipend even took place, saying that they can blame it on the other commissioners! That commissioner did not recuse himself from any discussions on the stipend or from voting.

In another instance, during campaigning for the ballot measure he took out a personal ad in which he called all four commissioners that voted to remove his stipend liars. One of these four is his key witness in an upcoming trial! Won't the defense attorney have a great time with that! But he was so wrapped up in getting his way with his pay he either forgot that she was his key witness or didn't care and took out the ad, regardless of the harm to the case!

Wish I could post under my name, but seeing what he has been doing, that wouldn't be very wise. Keep on top of this story, or send it a reporter who has time (I realize you are very busy). This should be another Nifong, big time.