Kitzhaber To Appeal Execution Reprieve Decision

Sep 11, 2012

The case of an Oregon death row inmate seeking his own execution is headed for a higher court. Gov.John Kitzhaber said Tuesday he plans to ask an appeals court to overturn a decision that cleared the way for the state’s first execution since 1997.

Late last year, Kitzhaber declared that no one would be executed while he was governor. The Democrat said he wanted to give state lawmakers and voters time to revisit the issue of capital punishment. The order was not a formal clemency for Oregon’s 37 death row inmates. Instead, it was what the courts consider an act of benevolence. But two-time killer Gary Haugen argued that a reprieve only counts if the person getting it accepts. Haugen actually says he wants to be executed.

Last month, Marion County Judge Timothy Alexander agreed to exempt Haugen from the governor’s death row reprieve. Now, Kitzhaber plans to appeal and says he’ll ask that the case go directly the Oregon Supreme Court.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network