Skip to main content
King County logo

DPD's mission is not only to provide high-quality representation but to also challenge the practices and policies that keep DPD's clients entangled in a harsh and unfair system. DPD's goal is to work with partners to dismantle the systems that oppress our clients. Where traditional systems remain, DPD is partnering with the community, litigating, and drawing upon the expertise of its staff to make those systems less harmful and more restorative. 

Read more about DPD on our blog, For The Defense. 

DPD in the news

Washington justices: Race a factor in analyzing police stops, Associated Press, June 16, 2022

Two cops acted with reckless disregard for the truth, judge says, Axios, June 13, 2022 

Almost 5,000 felony cases await resolution in King County Superior Court, thanks to COVID, other factors, Seattle Times, May 20, 2022

End harmful and ineffectual prosecutions in Seattle Municipal Court, commentary by Anita Khandelwal and Mark Stroh, May 17, 2022

City Attorney Davison asks court to let her deny "high utilizers" access to Community Court, PubliCola, April 27, 2022

Data suggests the Seattle city attorney disproportionately prosecutes Black, Indigenous, and poor people, Real Change, April 20, 2022

Seattle City Attorney's plan for repeat offenders is 'tired' and destabilizing, public defender says, Seattle Times, March 19, 2022

Seattle City Attorney has a new plan to arrest, intervene with 118 repeat offenders, KUOW, March 15, 2022

CID Community Watch not impressed by Mayor Harrell's hot-spot policing strategy in Little Saigon, The Stranger, Feb. 7, 2022 

Opinion: HB 1747 offers a pathway to keeping families together, South Seattle Emerald, Jan. 31, 2022

Public defenders union joins jail guards' call to address COVID crisis, PubliCola, Jan. 17, 2022

Man jailed for 9 years sues King County, Redmond after acquittal in killing: 'I lost a lot.' Seattle Times, Jan. 4, 2022

1 in 100 kids lose legal ties to their parents by the time they turn 18. This new bill aims to help, PBS News Hour, Jan. 3, 2022

Seattle, King County bills would require legal advice for youth before questioning by police, Seattle Times, Aug. 17, 2020

King County inmates face even more time alone during COVID-19, Crosscut, July 24, 2020

Seattle City Council votes to repeal loitering laws, but groups say much more is needed, Seattle Times, June 23, 2020

Reform isn't enough; region's police need radical restructuring, Seattle Times, June 15, 2020

Your right to a jury trial is on hold. Here's how coronavirus is changing the system, Seattle Times, June 2, 2020

People arrested during protests remain jailed after threats close King County Superior Court, Seattle Times, June 1, 2020

For mentally ill defendants, coronavirus means few safe options, The Marshall Project, May 15, 2020

Steady arrests risk COVID-19 spread beyond jail walls, advocates say, Crosscut, April 27, 2020

Washington's foster care system indicts itself by placing kids in hotels, commentary by Tara Urs, Crosscut, Feb. 26, 2020

Increase jury pay to address racial bias in criminal justice system, commentary by Anita Khandelwal and Michele Storms, Seattle Times, Oct. 27, 2019 

10 Critical Reforms Local Prosecutors Should Embrace, NW Lawyer, June 2019

Jailing runaways does not keep them safe, commentary by Anita Khandelwal, Seattle Times, March 17, 2019

Washington handles runaway foster kids with handcuffs, shackles and jail. Is there a better way?, Seattle Times, Feb. 17, 2019

Combat Seattle's street crime with treatment and housing, not jail, commentary by Anita Khandelwal, Seattle Times, Nov. 16, 2018

Statements, reports, and position papers

Proposed ordinance to create meaningful consent when police request to search an individual

Read our one-pager about proposed legislation that would ensure individuals understand their rights before consenting to a search by requiring law enforcement to connect them to a lawyer.  

Thanks to Blake decision, public defenders are helping hundreds get relief from probation

Public defenders are helping hundreds of people sentenced to community custody due to a previous drug conviction in King County get relief from the onerous oversight of court-ordered community custody obligations. The department is submitting motions to have community custody -- also called probation -- vacated. Many individuals under such obligations have active warrants issued by the state Department of Corrections, warrants that are quashed when the court orders are approved. Contact us if you are on community custody for a drug-related conviction in King County. Email us at or call 206-296-7662. Read a news release, issued Nov. 10, 2021, about DPD's work vacating community custody requirements. 

Study by UW on racial diversity of jury pools

The Under-Representation of Blacks in the King County Jury Pool, by Katherine Beckett, University of Washington, May 2016