Governor John Kitzhaber granted a reprieve to all of the prisoners on Oregon’s death row in November 2011. While he did not commute the sentences, he stated that he would not allow any more executions to take place while he was in office because he feels the death penalty is morally wrong.
Of course, this was met with some resistance, but one of the most litigious opponents of the reprieve has been Gary Haugen, a death row inmate himself. According to Reuters, Haugan sued seeking his own death warrant. This is surprising not only because most inmates are doing all they can to get off of death row, but also because we have always heard that Oregon was a pretty nice place to live.
His arguments fell upon def ears at the Oregon Supreme Court which found “nothing inherent in the word ‘reprieve’ requires the recipient’s acceptance for the reprieve to be effective.” Our suggestion is that Haugan apply for the Rotary Club exchange inmate program that Texas has been trying to put on for a while. As it is, every guy in the Polunsky Unit probably exclaimed a collective “are you fucking serious?” when they heard about this lawsuit.
Life in prison is no picnic, but has the Reading Rainbow taught this man nothing? He “can go anywhere. . . [and] can be anything” if he just takes a look in a book. Either that or he can try to manage Rick Perry’s campaign for Governor of Oregon.
(photo: sad prisoner with ball and chain on white background from Shutterstock)