Oregon’s Governor Considers The Death Penalty “Immoral” And Commutes Sentences For All 17 Death Row Inmates

According to a news release from her office on Tuesday, outgoing Oregon governor Kate Brown is commuting the sentences of all 17 individuals on execution row to life in prison without the chance of parole.

“Because the death penalty is ineffective and morally wrong, I have maintained Oregon’s moratorium on executions since assuming office in 2015. In order to prevent any more people in this state from being on death row and facing execution, Democrat Gordon Brown commuted the death sentences of all Oregonians today.

Additionally, Brown discussed the lengthy wait for victims and their families.

“I also realize the suffering and uncertainty victims go through as they wait for decades while people on death row sit there, especially in places with execution moratoriums,” she added. “I’m hoping that this commutation will move us a lot closer to closure in these cases,” the author says.

The sentences will be commuted by the governor using executive clemency authority, and the order is expected to go into effect on Wednesday.

Since the US Supreme Court reintroduced the death sentence in 1976 and the state revived the penalty in 1984, Oregon has killed two persons, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

The most recent occurred in May 1997 when Harry Moore, a double murderer, was executed by lethal injection.

Brown followed Gov. John Kitzhaber, who declared that there would be no more executions in Oregon in November 2011 and granted a reprieve to a death row inmate. Kitzhaber left his position in February 2015. Tina Kotek, a Democrat, will take the position of Brown, whose term was up.

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