You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Oregon court weighs execution delay

EUGENE, Ore. — A power struggle between a death-row inmate who wants to be executed and a governor who refuses to let it occur reached Oregon’s highest court Thursday as lawyers sparred over the governor’s authority to delay criminal sentences.

The lawyer for a man convicted of two murders argued that Governor John Kitzhaber lacks the authority to delay Gary Haugen’s execution without the inmate’s consent.

Continue reading below

Kitzhaber, a death penalty opponent, regretted letting two other inmates be put to death and said he will not allow it again. He blocked Haugen’s execution in 2011, delaying the sentence until the governor leaves office.

‘‘The Constitution trumps his moral views,’’ said Haugen’s lawyer, Harrison Latto. ‘‘The Constitution has a clause in it that says the death penalty is legal.’’

The governor argued that his clemency power is absolute, and no one can prevent him from doing what he believes to be in the state’s best interest.

Kitzhaber has urged a statewide vote to abolish the death penalty; the Legislature may put it on the 2014 ballot.

Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of