John Kitzhaber, the democratic governor of Oregon, stated on Tuesday that after allowing two men to be executed a decade ago he has come to regret his decision so much that he will now no longer permit anymore executions to take place while he’s in office. Gov. Kitzhaber announced that the execution of convicted killer Gary Haugen will not go on as scheduled, stating that he’d do the same for any other condemned inmates facing execution during his tenure in office.
Gov. Kitzhaber explained his decision in a honest, touching remark: “I simply cannot participate once again in something that I believe to be morally wrong. It is time for this state to consider a different approach”.
Gov. Kitzhaber has been criticized for being a “coward” for not going through with further executions, but personally I think it is rather brave of Gov. Kitzhaber to stand up for what he believes in and what he thinks is the right thing to do.
Richard Dieter, director of the Death Penalty information center, has said that most politicians are often hesitant to discuss abolishing the death penalty for fear it will anger voters. Kitzhaber’s decision might give confidence to leaders in other states to speak up more.
Let’s all hope.
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