Oregon governor says no more executions

TERESA CARSON
Last updated 13:17 23/11/2011
John Kitzhaber and Barack Obama
Reuters

PENAL SYSTEM: Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber with US President Barack Obama in Portland.

Relevant offers

Americas

Hope for PTSD cure by erasing bad memories Recap: Donald Trump in Florida for rally Trump rallies supporters, tears into 'dishonest media' 'California is a nation, not a state': A fringe movement wants a break from the US The unlikely hero to Tiffany Trump's New York Fashion Week front-row snub Bill Gates: Bioterrorism could kill more than nuclear war - but no one is ready to deal with it Donald Trump working on a 'streamlined' travel ban, Homeland Security secretary says Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade decision legalising abortion, dies at 69 Four dead, torrents of rain slam Southern California Trade Center bomber Omar Abdel-Rahman dies in prison in US, son says

Oregon's Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber said on Tuesday he will allow no further executions in the state while he is in office, and that he considered the death penalty morally wrong.

The move effectively halted the scheduled execution of convicted killer Gary Haugen, who had waived his appeals and was scheduled to die by lethal injection on December 6.

"It is time for Oregon to consider a different approach," Kitzhaber said in a statement. "I refuse to be a part of this compromised and inequitable system any longer; and I will not allow further executions while I am governor."

Oregon has carried out two executions in the last 49 years, both during Kitzhaber's first administration as governor, the statement said.

Kitzhaber said allowing those executions to go forward was "the most agonizing and difficult decisions I have made as governor" and that he has "revisited and questioned" the decisions over and over since then.

"I do not believe that those executions made us safer and certainly they do not make us nobler as a society," Kitzhaber said. "And I simply cannot participate once again in something I believe to be morally wrong."

Sixteen states and District of Columbia have no death penalty and there has been a gradual trend away from capital punishment in the United States with the number of executions falling slightly in recent years.

Illinois governor Pat Quinn in March signed a law abolishing the death penalty.

There have been 43 executions so far this year in the United States compared with 46 in all of 2010.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content