Amnesty International USA applauds Oregon Governor for halting all executions

Amnesty International USA
Press Release
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL APPLAUDS OREGON GOVERNOR FOR
“PRINCIPLED LEADERSHIP” IN HALTING ALL EXECUTIONS

Contact: AIUSA media office, 202.509.8194

(Washington, DC) – Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) today applauded Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon for declaring a moratorium on the state’s executions. The human rights organization’s supporters in Oregon, around the country and around the world wrote letters appealing to the governor to halt the December 6 scheduled execution of Gary Haugen, who had dropped his appeals, “volunteering” to be executed.

“This is a significant day for Oregon and another step forward in the inevitable march toward the end of the death penalty in the United States,” said Laura Moye, death penalty abolition campaign director for AIUSA.

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Urgent Action – First Oregon Execution in 14 Years Looming

URGENT ACTION APPEAL
20 October 2011

UA 308/11
USA (Oregon)

The first execution in Oregon since 1997, and only the third in this US state since 1962, looks set to be scheduled for 6 December. Questions remain about the mental competence of the condemned prisoner, who has chosen to give up his appeals against his death sentence.

Oregon has carried out two executions since judicial killing resumed in the USA in 1977 — one in 1996 and one in 1997. Both were of inmates who had given up appeals against their death sentences. Now Gary Haugen, a 49-year-old man, is expected to receive an execution date of 6 December after waiving his appeals. He and Jason Van Brumwell were sentenced to death in 2007 for the murder of fellow inmate David Polin in Oregon State Penitentiary in 2003. At the time of the murder, Gary Haugen was serving a life sentence after being convicted in 1981 of the murder earlier that year of his former girlfriend’s mother. On automatic appeal in 2010, the state Supreme Court affirmed his conviction and death sentence. Since then Gary Haugen has said he wants to drop any further appeals.

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