Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 1 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

An Opportunity For Justice: Gov. Kitzhaber should commute the sentences of death row prisoners before leaving office

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   No comments

Oregon's four-term Governor John Kitzhaber has the power to do an urgently needed act of justice today: commute the death sentences of Oregon's 34 men and one woman before he leaves office. According to a poll done by the Oregonian, 73% of Oregonians would support such a commutation.

In a powerful op-ed posted today to the Huffington Post, Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree makes the case for Governor Kitzhaber to commute the sentences, noting that throughout his tenure, Governor Kitzhaber has proven himself a leader on the issue of capital punishment. According to Professor Ogletree:

The people who occupy death row tend to be people who suffer from serious mental illness, intellectual impairments, torturous childhood abuse, and other extreme disadvantage. Often times these individuals do not receive adequate legal representation; and, in states across the nation, innocent men and women emerge from the ranks of the condemned.

Recognizing these shortcomings, Governor Kitzhaber declared a moratorium on the death penalty back in 2011. He labeled the State's practice of imposing death sentences "neither fair nor just" and concluded that a "compromised and inequitable" capital punishment system is not befitting of Oregon. Nothing has changed and nothing will: the death penalty in Oregon is too broken to fix.

As Professor Ogletree observes, commuting the death sentences of Oregon's death row prisoners before leaving office would uphold Governor's Kitzhaber's core values:

In his resignation letter, Governor Kitzhaber told us that he was proud to not have presided over any executions. Yet, as Governor, he presided over a state that has sentenced people to death under the same unjust system that led him to impose the moratorium.

Governor Kitzhaber should do right by his own values and the values of a majority of Oregonians. He should commute the death sentences of prisoners on his state's death row and send a clear message: Oregon's death penalty is too broken to fix.

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Jose Cornejo Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Jose Cornejo is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin.
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why states could be botching executions we'll never know about

Law Profs: SCOTUS Should Focus on Risky Execution Drug, Not Activists

Former Attorneys General: Oklahoma's Lethal Injection Process Flawed

SCOTUS Should Find Okla. Execution Drug Protocol Unconstitutional, Say Anesthesiologist and Law Prof

Pharmacologist: Oklahoma Can't Square Its Lethal Injection Protocol with Science

New Report Regarding Use of Midazolam for Executionst: Oklahoma Misleads the Supreme Court

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: