"[[The death penalty] has been carried out just twice in last 49 years in Oregon. Both were during my first administration as Governor, one in 1996 and the other in 1997. I allowed those sentences to be carried out despite my personal opposition to the death penalty. I was torn between my personal convictions about the morality of capital punishment and my oath to uphold the Oregon constitution.
"They were the most agonizing and difficult decisions I have made as Governor and I have revisited and questioned them over and over again during the past 14 years. I do not believe that those executions made us safer; and certainly they did not make us nobler as a society. And I simply cannot participate once again in something I believe to be morally wrong."
MVFHR joins many other organizations in thanking Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber for his decision yesterday to halt executions in the state. Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (OADP) has news and information about this momentous decision, the work that led up to it, and the further examination of the death penalty that lies ahead in Oregon.