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.