Governor of Oregon Stops Executions

Today the Governor of Oregon, John Kitzhaber, announced a ban on executions during his time in office, declaring that “the death penalty is morally wrong and unjustly administered.”  Under his authority, he granted a reprieve to Gary Haugen, who had been scheduled for execution on December 6, 2011.  This would have been the first execution in the state in 14 years.

Here are excerpts from coverage from OregonLive.com (“Gov. John Kitzhaber stops executions in Oregon, calls system ‘compromised and inequitable'”, November 22, 2011):

The change of heart comes as a surprise for a governor who twice before — in his first term as governor — allowed executions to go forward. Despite his personal opposition to the death penalty, Kitzhaber said he was upholding the will of the people in allowing the 1996 execution of Douglas Franklin Wright and the 1997 execution of Harry Charles Moore.

“I have regretted those choices ever since,” he wrote in a prepared statement. “Both because of my own deep personal convictions about capital punishment and also because in practice, Oregon has an expensive and unworkable system that fails to meet basic standards of justice.”

Read more.

Congratulations to our colleagues in Oregon!

8 thoughts on “Governor of Oregon Stops Executions

  1. John Kitzhaber we salute you.

    The world recoils from the United States’ barbaric death penalty.

    It is repugnant and completely wrong and every other Western nation knows it and has eradicated it.

    It takes a great man to stand up, as John has done, and confront this moral outrage, which is supported by most Americans.

    Fortunately, public support for the death penalty is dwindling, and in another 5 or 10 years even the US will have eradicated it.

    Good and brave people like John Kitzhaber will speed up this process.

    From Nigel Benson
    New Zealand

  2. The death penalty is not barbaric. We have used the death penalty since the code of hammurabi was created. It has worked and lowered the crime rate in the U.S. You should not just join the band wagon with everyone else becuase you think you are cool. peace out gangsta, till another day homey G.

  3. okay well imagine this…. You have a young daughter, She is about 12 years old. One day she is playing outside and gets kidnapped. The two males that kidnap her brutally rape and kill her and leave her to die in a ditch. what would you like to happen to those guys who did that? would you like them to be put to death row? or serve a couple years in prison then be set free?

  4. In Texas, juries only have the option of death or life without parole. They would not be set free, ever.

    We are not as fluent on Oregon, but it looks like the same would be true there as well depending on what the jury decided:
    Death, imprisonment without parole and life imprisonment.

  5. Well if they have them on life imprisonment then we will have to pay our taxes to give them food and water and all the things to live. that means you are paying for a murderer that killed your daughter. are you okay with that?

  6. Well Vicki, It would actually be cheaper if they would hang the person the day the judge convicted him instead of waiting a couple decades. It would cost more to keep them in jail for life! and knowing you are going to be executed is alot harder to handle than sitting in a cell for life. Also the prisoner could break free from jail or make a deal or something. So lets just agree on that executing the criminals is alot easier and better for society than making sit in prison and using our tax dollars to keep them alive.

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