Capital Punishment

Report: Hard To Pin Down Death Penalty Costs In Idaho

Mar 19, 2014
Idaho Dept. of Correction

Death penalty cases take longer to work through Idaho's court system, but it's hard to put a dollar figure on the extra expense. That's according to a new report released Wednesday. As Jessica Robinson reports, it's unlikely to prompt any drastic changes in Idaho's policy on capital punishment.

Two recent executions in Idaho after a 17-year pause made lawmakers want to get more information on how much capital punishment costs the state. The legislature’s Office of Performance Evaluations has now come back with an answer: hard to say.

Family members of murder victims are expressing anguish over Governor Jay Inslee’s decision to halt the state’s death penalty. They testified before lawmakers considering curbs on the governor’s authority to grant reprieves.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says as long as he’s in office the state won’t execute death row inmates.

The next time a death row inmate is executed by lethal injection in Washington state, witnesses will see more of the process.

The U.S. Supreme Court has turned down an Oregon death-row inmate's request to be executed. Tuesday's ruling means that two-time murderer Gary Haugen will not be executed for the foreseeable future.

Former Death Row Inmate Darold Stenson on Trial Again

Sep 23, 2013
Credit Washington Department of Corrections

The retrial of former death row inmate Darold Stenson starts today in Kitsap County.
Stenson is charged with aggravated murder in the 1993 deaths of his wife and business partner. 

The Oregon Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Thursday in a case involving a death row inmate who wants to die. Two-time murderer Gary Haugen is trying to reject a reprieve issued by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber.

It's definitely an unusual situation. Normally you'd expect people on death row to be happy about having their execution delayed. But Haugen had dropped all of his appeals and was actually trying to be executed. He repeatedly told judges that he was ready. And the courts ruled him competent to make that decision.

SALEM, Ore. – More than a year ago, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber stunned people by enacting a moratorium on the death penalty. It happened just weeks before the scheduled execution of two-time murderer Gary Haugen. At a hearing Tuesday, lawmakers took up the question of whether to ask voters to repeal the death penalty altogether. But it’s not clear whether that will actually happen.

Dan Bryant knows the unique pain of learning a loved one has been murdered. His mother was stabbed to death by a mentally-ill relative in 1998.

Oregon Department of Corrections

An Oregon judge says death row inmate Gary Haugen has the right to reject a reprieve from Gov. John Kitzhaber. Circuit Court Judge Timothy Alexander's ruling Friday paves the way for a possible new execution date for the two-time murderer.

Oregon Department of Corrections

Late last year, Gov. John Kitzhaber issued a moratorium that put on hold the execution of twice-convicted murderer Gary Haugen. Now the death row inmate is asking a judge to overrule that reprieve. Haugen appeared in a Marion County courtroom Tuesday.

Idaho Dept. of Corrections

In 1985, a jury convicted Richard A. Leavitt of the brutal first-degree murder of Danette J. Elg a year earlier. Elg of Blackfoot, Idaho had been stabbed more than a dozen times and her body was mutilated. The state will execute 53 year-old Leavitt Tuesday by lethal injection unless there’s a last minute stay. .

Male death row prisoners are housed in the Idaho Maximum Security Institution, or Idaho Max. Guards moved Leavitt to a lone cell last month after the state Department of Correction served him with a death warrant.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

The Associated Press and other news agencies sued the state of Idaho yesterday to view prisoner executions from start to finish. Reporters want to be able to observe and report any complications that might come up.

AP reporter Rebecca Boone is among those fighting to see the entire execution.

Rebecca Boone: "This is the most powerful action that the courts and government can take, it’s killing a person. So if we don’t know what happens for half of that process, then it’s impossible to have an educated and vital debate about it."

Photo credit: Oregon DOC / Oregon Department of Corrections

An Oregon death row inmate will make an unusual argument in court Wednesday. Gary Haugen says Governor John Kitzhaber overstepped his authority by halting all executions in the state.

Two time convicted murderer Gary Haugen was set to die by lethal injection last December. But two weeks before the scheduled execution, Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber put Oregon's death penalty on hold. The governor wants lawmakers and the public to reexamine the state's capital punishment system.