Nov 232011
 

I will not be going to do volunteer work in the prison this month.  Not only am I not well enough yet, but also, our meeting was cancelled so that staff could practice for an execution scheduled early next month.  I had planned, and partially written an article for that occasion, stating that was one of the few times I was not proud to be an Oregonian.  Thanks to John Kitzhaber, Oregon’s Democratic Governor, that article will not see the light of day.

23KitzGov. John Kitzhaber announced today that he is halting the scheduled Dec. 6 execution of Gary Haugen and won’t allow any executions to occur while he is governor.

Kitzhaber’s bombshell came the day after the Oregon Supreme Court said that it would allow the lethal injection execution of the twice-convicted murderer to go forward.

In slamming the brakes on Oregon’s first execution in 14 years, the Democrat governor said the state’s death penalty system is “broken” and he vowed to push for reforms in the 2013 legislative session.

“It is time for this state to consider a different approach,” Kitzhaber said. “I refuse to be a part of a compromised and inequitable system any longer; and I will not allow further executions to take place while I am governor.”

Under Oregon’s constitution, governors have sweeping power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons for those convicted of crimes.

Kitzhaber said he was exercising his authority to issue a temporary reprieve for Haugen, lasting “for the duration of my term in office.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <The Statesman Journal>

Here’s the video of Kitz’s statement.

Thank you Governor.  I remain proud to be an Oregonian.  It’s time for the US to join the civilized nations of the world by outlawing capital punishment once and for all.

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  16 Responses to “Kitzhaber Says No to Death”

  1. That’s cool but now he has to push for permanence not just until he is no longer in charge. But then WTF do I know we haven’t had the death penalty here since 1837

  2. It’s refreshing to hear a person in office speaking with somber resolve about his decision-making process weighing the various influences upon decisions.  His entire process speaks of a personal morality and the decisions that might be done in opposition to same when serving the people of his district.  That concept is, I suppose, debatable, but at least this governor wrestles with the hard questions openly and sincerely.  We need much, much more of this attitude in our politicians.  Too many think it’s justifiable to force their own opinions upon others simply because they have a positions that allows them to do it.  Morals and ethics must be restored to American life, whether in politics or not.  Bless you, Tom, for bringing this forth.  Be well!

  3. It’s a step in the right direction. The justice system is badly in need of an overhaul.

  4. He deserves praise for this– takes courage to take a firm stand — One  execution of an innocent person is too much—Our  legal system is so unjust —- and so screwy  — He is , I think , wise to acknowledge that.

  5. A governor who takes his hippocratic oath seriously! How enlightened! You too TomCat for taking the time and offering your expertise in challenging the dire needs of “justice” – thanks, I’m glad you get a break from this issue at least!

  6. Good for Kitzhaber! The death penalty is barbaric and should be abolished for all but proven terrorists and war criminals!

  7. I lstened to Kitzhaber and heard a tremor of emotion in his voice, and an emotional look in his face.  It is apparent that he is a moral man who wrestles with his decisions.

    I agree with Caitlin who has spoken so well.

    Now the next hurdle, abolishing the death penalty in Oregon for the last time, and abolishing it in the US.  As I recall from the Troy Davis debate, the number of states using the death penalty has to drop from 34 to 24 and then it can be abolished nation wide.  I pray for that day!