Joshua Marquis

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Joshua Marquis
District Attorney of Clatsop County
Assumed office
Personal details
Born 1952 (age 64–65)
Los Angeles, CA
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Cynthia Price
Residence Astoria, Clatsop County, Oregon

Joshua K. Marquis (born 1952) is an attorney and politician from Astoria, Oregon in the United States. He has served as District Attorney for Clatsop County since 1994. He frequently writes and speaks about capital punishment, and is known for his belief that the death penalty is justified in some cases.[1] He is often quoted as a spokesperson on behalf of the National District Attorneys Association.[2]

Early career[edit]

Marquis earned a law degree from the University of Oregon.[3] He later served as Deputy District Attorney for Lincoln and Lane counties, and then as Chief Deputy District Attorney for Deschutes and Lincoln counties.[3]

Clatsop County District Attorney[edit]

Marquis was appointed District Attorney in Clatsop County by then-Governor Barbara Roberts after his predecessor was convicted and disbarred for gross prosecutorial misconduct.[4] Marquis was elected in 1994 and reelected in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014[5]

Marquis served as a superdelegate to the 1996 Democratic National Convention.

In 1995 Marquis received the Animal Legal Defense Fund's "Jolene Malone Aggressive Enforcement Award" in recognition of his work on a particularly difficult animal abuse case[6] and in 2006 was the recipient of the Association of Government Attorneys in Capital Litigation's William J. Schaefer Award.[7] In 2014 Marquis was named by the ALDF as one of the "Top Ten Animal Defenders.

Death penalty advocacy[edit]

Marquis coauthored Debating the Death Penalty,[8] and numerous other articles that were cited by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia [9] in his concurrence in the Supreme Court's decision in Kansas v. Marsh.[10] Marquis worked as a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal in the early 1980s and the speechwriter to California Attorney General John Van de Kamp in the mid-1980s.

Marquis is often solicited to write articles on the death penalty, such as the lead article in a special section published by the Los Angeles Times prior to the execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams.[11]

In October 2011 Marquis was one of four panelists invited to discuss capital punishment at the New Yorker Festival on a panel that also included Innocence Project founder Barry Scheck,death penalty opponent Danalynn Recer, and crime victim's advocate Marc Klaas. CNN's Jeffrey Toobin moderated the event at the Directors Guild Theater in Manhattan, New York City.[12]

Other activities[edit]

Marquis also served on Oregon's Criminal Justice Commission from 2005 to 2009,[13] served as vice chair of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.[14] and was elected in August 2009 to the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Leadership Council for a three year term.[1]

Marquis is an outspoken prosecutor who is frequently asked to "special prosecute" conflict of interest cases for other District Attorneys. He has successfully prosecuted a Benton County lawyer,[15] a former courtroom rival,[16] and the 1985 case in which Marquis defeated famed defense attorney Gerry Spence when Michael Jones was convicted (later overturned), which became the subject of Spence's 2003 book, The Smoking Gun.[17][18] During the trial of Sandra Jones (Michael's mother) he was disqualified by the judge, Harl H. Haas, Jr., with Marquis then filing a judicial fitness complaint.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ James Pitkin (January 23, 2008). "Killing Time: Dead Men Waiting on Oregon's Death Row". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on January 24, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  2. ^ "Prosecutor Profile: Joshua K. Marquis". National District Attorneys Association. Archived from the original on November 22, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  3. ^ a b "Profile: Joshua Marquis" (PDF). Clatsop County, Oregon. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  4. ^ Miner, Michael (2000-06-09). "Prosecutors vs. Journalists: The Gloves Are Off". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  5. ^ Keep Josh Marquis Our District Attorney Committee. "Joshua Marquis". Voters' Pamphlet, Oregon Primary Election, May 16, 2006. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  6. ^ "Profile of an Animal Abuser". Ark Online. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  7. ^ "Oregon State Bar Bulletin — October 2006". Oregon State Bar. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  8. ^ Debating the Death Penalty. Oxford University Press. 2004. 
  9. ^ Marquis, Joshua (2006-01-26). "The Innocent and the Shammed". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  10. ^ "Kansas v. Marsh" (PDF). Supreme Court of the United States. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  11. ^ Marquis, Joshua (2005-12-04). "He's a murderer. He should die.". Opinion. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Criminal Justice Commission Members". State of Oregon. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  14. ^ "Executive Staff & Board". Animal Legal Defense Fund. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  15. ^ "The thong arm of the law". Willamette Week. 2005-03-30. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  16. ^ Budnick, Nick (2005-11-16). "Bad Blood: How a lawyer once suspected of sexual abuse gets taxpayer money". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  17. ^ Dana K. Cole, Gerry Spence's The Smoking Gun As A Teaching Tool (2004)
  18. ^ a b Roberts, Michelle (January 8, 2001). "Success of drug court is judge's legacy". The Oregonian. p. B1. 

External links[edit]