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Oregon Supreme Court: Haugen v. Kitzhaber: Death Row Inmate Right to Reject Clemency? Right to Die?


Gary D. Haugen v. John Kitzhaber, (TC 12C16560) (CA A152412) (SC S060761), filed 6/20/13.

Read OJD media releases  (link directly to the June 20, 2013 summary).

Read the whole case. (Or locate via “How to Find a Case Online – using free resources”)

“... The Court noted that nothing in the text of the Oregon Constitution provides the recipient of a grant of clemency with a right to nullify it by rejecting it…. The Court concluded that the Governor’s clemency power is part of the constitutional scheme and permits the Governor to determine that the public welfare will be better served by clemency, regardless of the recipient’s acceptance of that clemency. The Court stated that it was not asked to, and did not, review the Governor’s judgment in reaching that conclusion. The issue was whether the Governor’s action was within his constitutional authority, and the Court concluded that it was….
The Court also rejected Haugen’s claim that the reprieve amounted to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution…. The Court noted, however, that the United States Supreme Court has not concluded that the uncertainty accompanying time on death row constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. ….” [Read the whole case, Haugen, 353 Or S. Ct. __ (2013).]

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