Saturday, December 17, 2022

Oregon, My Oregon

Vicky Taft at PJ Media chronicles Oregon's Governor's Last Act of Political Sabotage

The timing of Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s announcement on the death penalty is quite, ah, interesting. The message it sends is even more damning.

The governor just abolished the death penalty by fiat. She didn’t ask voters. She didn’t talk to victims. One of her last acts as governor was a throat strike to victims.

Though Kate Brown has spent her years in office winnowing down the number of death row inmates from 34 to 17 and releasing violent murderers and rapists from prison, she chose this week to abolish the death penalty entirely in Oregon and “dismantle” a death chamber in Oregon that hasn’t been used in decades. And here’s why: she’s bugging out of office in mere days and handing over this time bomb to the newest woke governor to deal with. She did all of it without the consent of Oregon voters.

In her Twitter announcement — yes, that’s how she announced the unprecedented and controversial move — Brown spewed a giant word salad saying several things at once.
  • Oregon’s justice is unfair.
  • Death penalties don’t work.
  • The state shouldn’t kill people.
  • Prison rehabilitates.
  • Death row prisoners whose sentences I’m commuting haven’t been rehabilitated.
  • We don’t use it.
  • It’s dysfunctional because we don’t use it.
  • The death penalty does not make us safer.
Stone-cold killer Gary Haugen is among those presumably being put back into general population since death row has been abolished. He was imprisoned after he murdered his girlfriend’s mom and then given a death sentence when he killed another inmate. He wanted to be executed in 2011 when it was scheduled, but Oregon’s woke governor told him no; they’d keep him alive to show how tolerant they were, so there. Judges the governor appointed agreed to keep him alive.
. . .
Oregon voters have never voted to get rid of the death penalty. Indeed, they voted for it again in 1984. Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp told KOIN6 News that he must have missed the part where voters repealed it.

“Did the people of Oregon vote to end the death penalty? I don’t recall that happening,” he said. “This is another example of the Governor and the Democrats not abiding by the wishes of Oregonians. Even in the final days of her term, Brown continues to disrespect victims of the most violent crimes.”

1984? We left in 1983. I don't recall much debated about the death penalty at the time, although, even by then the practice was all but abandoned, although if a Californian had committed a murder they might have carried it out. There's really no excuse for not bringing it up for an initiative since then. I don't doubt it would pass, though. They continue to vote poorly. 

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