EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court hears arguments Thursday from lawyers for a death-row inmate who wants to be executed and the governor who refuses to let him die.
Gov. John Kitzhaber, who opposes capital punishment, regretted letting two other inmates be put to death and says he won’t allow it to happen again.
A lawyer for Gary Haugen will argue that Kitzhaber exceeded his authority when he issued a temporary reprieve for the two-time murderer in 2011, delaying the execution until the governor leaves office. The governor argues that his clemency power is absolute.
Kitzhaber urged a statewide vote on abolishing the death penalty, and the Legislature could put it on the ballot in 2014.
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