Oregon Court Considers Death-Row Inmate's Push to Die - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Oregon Court Considers Death-Row Inmate's Push to Die

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EUGENE, Ore. - The Oregon Supreme Court is considering a death-row inmate's wish to be executed.

The Court heard arguments Thursday from the inmate's lawyers who says the inmate wants to be executed but the governor refuses to let him die.

Gov. John Kitzhaber opposes capital punishment and says he regrets letting two other inmates be put to death and says he won't allow it to happen again.

However, a lawyer for inmate Gary Haugen argues that Gov. Kitzhaber exceeded his authority when he issued a temporary reprieve for the two-time murderer in 2011. The governor's reprieve delayed the execution until Kitzhaber leaves office.
Gov. Kitzhaber argues his clemency power is absolute, and nobody can prevent him from doing what he believes to be in the state's best interest. He has urged a statewide vote on abolishing the death penalty, and the Legislature could put it on the 2014 ballot.