Reprieved Oregon Death Row Prisoner Granted Right to Be Executed
America’s emotional debate over the role of the death penalty has taken a strange new twist after a convicted killer has been granted the legal right to insist on his right to be executed.
Oregon death row inmate Gary Haugen, who was found guilty of murdering his girlfriend’s mother and also another prisoner, says he still wants to die - despite a reprieve by anti-death penalty Oregon governor John Kitzhaber.
Now a court has granted Haugen, 49, the right to reject Kitzhaber’s clemency move, which was issued just weeks before he was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection last December.
Kitzhaber had vowed that no death sentences would be carried out in Oregon while he was in office.
But Judge Timothy Alexander has ruled in favour of Haugen, saying that earlier cases had established his right not to accept the stay of execution.
“My decision … is not intended to be a criticism of Governor Kitzhaber or the views he has expressed. I’m required to set aside my personal views and decide this case on its merits and the law,” the judge wrote in his judgement.
However, the matter is not settled.