Judge: US death row inmate can reject reprieve
SALEM, Oregon (AP) - A condemned inmate who says he wants to die can reject a reprieve from the death penalty issued by Oregon's governor, a judge ruled Friday in a case that probes the limits on the governor's power.
Circuit Court Senior Judge Timothy Alexander ruled that convicted killer Gary Haugen is not required to accept clemency from Governor John Kitzhaber. The governor's office says an appeal to a higher court is likely.
Last year, Haugen said he would voluntarily waive legal appeals that could delay his execution for years and fought to speed his punishment in protest of a criminal justice system that he says is broken.
But Governor Kitzhaber, who opposes capital punishment, said no executions would occur while he is governor. Weeks before Haugen was scheduled to die by lethal injection last December, Governor Kitzhaber issued an order preventing the execution for the rest of his time in office.