Opinion

Oregonian OpEd: Capital punishment in Oregon: Kitzhaber should commute all death sentences

Sunday, Nov. 27  Oregon's governor, John Kitzhaber, stopped the impending execution of two-time convicted killer Gary Haugen, granting a "temporary reprieve ... for the duration of my term in office." Haugen's death sentence had been the subject of extensive review and the prisoner himself had argued that he should die. The governor should either have allowed execution to proceed or commuted the sentence. He did neither, treating the prisoner, the victims' families, and the dozens of court and prison officials in this case with cruel irresponsibility.

Oregonian Editorial Board: A reprieve for Gary Haugen, a challenge to Oregonians

Kitzhaber issued a temporary reprieve of the execution of Gary Haugen

Listening to death row inmate Gary Haugen and Gov. John Kitzhaber expound on Oregon's death penalty, it sounds almost as though all this is between them, the two-time murderer ready to accept his punishment, and the three-term governor who can't bring himself to allow another execution under his watch. There is someone else involved here: You. What do you think? Is Oregon's death penalty system truly "broken," "inequitable" and "compromised," as Kitzhaber insisted Tuesday while announcing his decision to issue a temporary reprieve and block the scheduled Dec. 6 execution of Haugen?

OADP Pleased That Study of the Death Penalty Will Continue

Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (OADP)

Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (OADP) applauds the decision of Governor John Kitzhaber to halt the scheduled execution of Gary Haugen and his call for a full examination of the Oregon death penalty

This action, while courageous on the part of Governor Kitzhaber, also is in line with movement across this country for states to either repeal their death penalty, lessen the use of the death penalty and / or create opportunities to study the death penalty. Governor Kitzhaber has shown great leadership with this announcement.

Statesman Journal focuses on death penalty and OADP: From hate to healing

Aba Gayle holds a photo of her daughter, Catherine Blount who was murdered

One mother was able to forgive the death-row inmate responsible for killing her daughter, becoming an advocate against the death penalty

For years, Aba Gayle "lusted for revenge" against the California death- row inmate who murdered her 19-year-old daughter.

But everything changed when she mailed the killer a letter, saying she forgave him.

Paying visits to San Quentin prison, Gayle befriended the man she once despised and wanted put to death.

As hate gave way to healing, she turned against the death penalty.

Oregonian Op Ed: The weight of 'playing God': In capital punishment cases, jurors are punished

Oregonian Opinion Editorial

Jurors are unrecognized victims of the death penalty. I have been debriefing jurors after difficult, traumatic trials since 1999. I've learned a lot about how jurors are affected by their service. Many of these trials involved charges of homicide or child abuse, including five death penalty cases. One factor that causes juror trauma is the type of evidence, which is often graphic and gruesome, involving malice and brutality. This is outside the jurors' life experiences, and it exposes them to a difficult, even horrifying, view of the world.

OADP Statement on Haugen Case: Oregonians for Alternatives Oppose State-Sanctioned Executions

Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (OADP)

Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (OADP) will oppose the execution of Gary Haugen and all executions in Oregon. While this case has had front page headlines for months now, our organization maintains that the death penalty “system” is too broken to fix. There is a lot of finger pointing going on in the media accounts. The current news is not the fault of Mr. Haugen, the Judge, the lawyers, the mental health professionals, opponents to the death penalty, the Governor (who has the power to stop an execution), the Department of Corrections, the news media or anyone else. The problem is a “system” that is a failed public policy and provides no real benefit to the citizens of Oregon.

Death Penalty: Victims of a runaway train

The death penalty in America is like a runaway freight train

Imagine a 200-car freight train like you may have encountered at a railroad crossing -- how slow to get moving, seemingly endless in length, on a course that can rarely be changed, nearly impossible to stop, incredibly dangerous if you get in its way. That's what the death penalty in America is like.

Leonard PItts: Blood does not equal justice. And they raised a cheer for death.

Leonard Pitts Jr.

By Leonard Pitts Jr. -- It was a chilling moment, but also a clarifying one in that it validated the grimmest suspicions about at least some of those who support capital punishment. That support, after all, is often framed in terms of high morality, the argument being that only in taking an offender's life can a society truly express its revulsion over certain heinous crimes.

NY Times: The Military and the Death Penalty

The Military and the Death Penalty

Racism in the application of capital punishment has been well documented in the civilian justice system since the Supreme Court reinstated the penalty in 1976. Now comes evidence that racial disparity is even greater in death penalty cases in the military system.

An Oregonian Asks: Does a Killer Have the Right to Die?

Marilyn Sewell - Unitarian Univeralist Minister, Writer.

By Marilyn Sewell -- Gary Haugen wants to die. Or at least that's what he says. He is a convicted killer who has repeatedly asked to have his appeals waived. Haugan beat to death his girlfriend's mother in 1981, and in 2003, killed a fellow inmate, who ended up with a crushed skull and 84 stab wounds. Haugan was to be executed at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, Oregon, on August 16, but his execution has been postponed until a judge orders a mental competency evaluation.

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