November 23, 2011 - The ACLU of Oregon fully supports the decision of Governor John Kitzhaber to stop the planned execution of Gary Haugen for December 6th.

Earlier this month the ACLU of Oregon joined our anti-death penalty allies, Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, the Oregon Capital Punishment Resource Center and Amnesty International, in urging Gov. Kitzhaber to stop the execution and call for a study of Oregon’s capital punishment system. Now that the governor has taken the bold step asked of him, it is imperative that a thorough, non-politicized study of the death penalty system occurs in our state. Other states have made the decision to end the death penalty because it is arbitrary, costly and discriminatory. The last time Oregon had this conversation was 27 years ago. It is time for Oregonians to start this conversation again. The ACLU of Oregon, on behalf of its more than 10,000 members, will monitor the next steps of our state Legislative and Executive branches on this important issue.

At the same time we extend our thanks to Governor Kitzhaber for his courageous action, we recognize that there are victims of Gary Haugen’s crimes who are put in the middle of the debate about the use of the death penalty in Oregon.