Russ Feingold

It's just really tragic that after all the horrors of the last 1,000 years, we can't leave behind something as primitive as government sponsored execution.

-Russ Feingold

Aberon Waugh

The main objection to killing people as a punishment...is that killing people is wrong.

-Aberon Waugh

Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun

From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.

-Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun

John Donne

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.

-John Donne

Helen Prejean

Government... can't be trusted to control its own bureaucrats or collect taxes equitably or fill a pothole, much less decide which of it's citizens to kill.

-Sister Helen Prejean

News

Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs declares support of moratorum

Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs

Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs wrote a letter to Governor John Kitzhaber expressing support for his courageous declaration of a moratorium to stop all executions in Oregon. The commission wrote the following letter to Governor Kitzhaber expressing gratitude for the courage for the decision and the reasons such a moratorium is important.

Op-Ed: The Enduring Failure To Protect Against Racism

The Enduring Failure To Protect Against Racism

Twenty five years ago this week in a case entitled McClesky v. Kemp, the United States Supreme Court was faced with disturbing proof that race influences who is sentenced to death in the United States. In Georgia, where the case originated, black defendants charged with killing white victims were 4.3 times as likely to receive a death sentence as white defendants charged with killing black victims.

Racial Justice trial: No execution for black inmate, judge rules

In a landmark ruling, a North Carolina judge Friday vacated the death penalty of a convicted black murderer, saying prosecutors across the state had engaged for years in a deliberate and systematic pattern of racial discrimination while striking black potential jurors in death penalty cases. The decision by Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Weeks in Cumberland County, N.C., could help set a precedent nationwide in death penalty cases, which for years have included arguments by black defendants and civil rights lawyers that prosecutors keep blacks off juries for overtly racial reasons.

Op-Ed: Oregon Should Follow Connecticut

Governor Daniel Malloy signs the Connecticut bill to replace the death penalty with an alternative punishment

On April 12, 2012, the Connecticut legislature replaced its death penalty with life in prison with no possibility of release. When Governor Daniel Malloy signs the bill into law, Connecticut will be the 17th state and the fifth in recent years to replace the death penalty with an alternative punishment that ensures both the safety of its citizens, but also guarantees that no innocent person will be executed.

Marion County DA backs Gary Haugen's argument to override Kitzhaber on execution

Haugen's argument to override Kitzhaber on execution

Haugen has asked the Marion County Circuit Court to issue a new death warrant, saying he doesn't accept the reprieve, making it "legally ineffective." The Oregonian’s continuing coverage of Gary Haugen, an Oregon death row prisoner, wants to initiate the execution process. Gov. John Kitzhaber blocked his execution and all others in Oregon. Marion County District Attorney Walt Beglau said Monday that the two-time killer has a viable argument. "That's the legal issue that needs to be explored in a court of law. That really is the central issue."

Oregon Supreme Court Again Overturns Death Sentence

Oregon Supreme Court overturns death sentence

The Oregon Supreme Court, for the third time in two decades, has overturned a death sentence against Robert Paul Langley Jr. for a murder committed in 1987. The decision announced Thursday sent the case back to Marion County Circuit Court for further proceedings. District Attorney Walt Beglau has not announced whether he will seek the death penalty for Langley. Because four of the sitting justices have worked for the Oregon Department of Justice, which represents the state in death-penalty cases, they did not take part in Thursday’s decision. The three remaining justices were joined by a retired justice and a Court of Appeals judge to decide the case.

State Supreme Court overturns death sentence against Robert Langley for fourth time

State Supreme Court overturns death sentence against Robert Langley

The Oregon Supreme Court for the fourth time has overturned a death sentence for Robert Paul Langley Jr., finding that a judge should not have forced the convicted murderer to represent himself before jurors determining his punishment. The decision marks the latest setback for prosecutors who have pressed to execute Langley -- and persuaded four juries to hand down Oregon's harshest sentence -- over more than two decades.

US Judge bars import of drug used in death penalty

Judge barred U.S. authorities from importing an anesthesia drug used in carrying out death sentences

A U.S. judge on Tuesday barred U.S. authorities from importing an anesthesia drug used in carrying out death sentences because the Food and Drug Administration never approved the drug for use in the United States, and he ordered supplies be confiscated. A group of death row inmates had sued the FDA last year over improperly allowing shipments into the country of sodium thiopental, a sedative used as the first of three drugs administered in carrying out executions.

AP Interview: Texas DA seeks death penalty review

Texas Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins

AP -- The Texas prosecutor leading an aggressive push to free wrongly imprisoned inmates, in a county where more than two dozen wrongful convictions have been overturned, is calling for a review of the capital punishment system in the nation's busiest death penalty state. Craig Watkins' tenure as Dallas County's top prosecutor has earned him a national reputation. Now, as Watkins publicly acknowledges that his great-grandfather was executed in Texas almost 80 years ago, he called on state lawmakers to review death penalty procedures to ensure the punishment is fairly administered.

LA Time OpEd: California's death penalty law: It simply does not work

Ron Briggs says the Briggs death penalty law in California simply does not work

We believed the Briggs initiative — the death penalty measure we wrote in 1977 — would bring greater justice. We were wrong.

In 1977, my dad, former state Sen. John Briggs, my brother-in-law and I got together to discuss California's death penalty. We agreed it was ineffective and decided a ballot initiative was needed to expand the number of murder categories eligible for capital punishment. We felt such changes would give prosecutors better tools for meting out just punishments, and that a broadened statute would serve as a warning to all California evildoers that the state would deliver swift and final justice.

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