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Newsweek: View of An Executioner: "I Committed Murder"

I committed murder

For the anonymous executioners of death row, the ‘high’ of pulling the lever is often followed by a lifetime of doubt.Only a fellow executioner like 59-year-old Jerry Givens would know how crushingly hard it will continue to be for those who put Troy Davis to death last week even as he continued to insist on his innocence.

OADP Statement on Haugen Case: Oregonians for Alternatives Oppose State-Sanctioned Executions

Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (OADP)

Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (OADP) will oppose the execution of Gary Haugen and all executions in Oregon. While this case has had front page headlines for months now, our organization maintains that the death penalty “system” is too broken to fix. There is a lot of finger pointing going on in the media accounts. The current news is not the fault of Mr. Haugen, the Judge, the lawyers, the mental health professionals, opponents to the death penalty, the Governor (who has the power to stop an execution), the Department of Corrections, the news media or anyone else. The problem is a “system” that is a failed public policy and provides no real benefit to the citizens of Oregon.

Gary Haugen Update: I'm ready,' Oregon death row inmate Gary Haugen tells judge; may face execution Dec. 6

This time, Gary Haugen made no long speeches about how the legal system is broken and its money misspent. No talk about dying with dignity or any detailed explanation about why the 49-year-old twice-convicted killer would rather end his life than spend his days on Oregon's death row. Instead, Haugen, his graying hair pulled back in a ponytail, said he would keep his comments to a minimum. "I can't go on," he said in a low, calm voice. "This is going to be one time where I just don't do a lot of talking, because I'm ready, your honor. Because I'm ready."

Death Penalty: Victims of a runaway train

The death penalty in America is like a runaway freight train

Imagine a 200-car freight train like you may have encountered at a railroad crossing -- how slow to get moving, seemingly endless in length, on a course that can rarely be changed, nearly impossible to stop, incredibly dangerous if you get in its way. That's what the death penalty in America is like.

NY Times on Troy Davis Execution: An Indefensible Punishment

When the Supreme Court reinstituted the death penalty 35 years ago, it did so provisionally. Since then, it has sought to articulate legal standards for states to follow that would ensure the fair administration of capital punishment and avoid the arbitrariness and discrimination that had led it to strike down all state death penalty statutes in 1972.

Justice Ginsburg expresses fondness for Furman's halt to capital punishment

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

This new article from the San Francisco Chronicle, headlined "Justice Ginsburg discusses equality, death penalty," reports on some notable comments by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg concerning the death penalty and the Supreme Court's four-decade effort to provide constitutional regulations for its administration:

Leonard PItts: Blood does not equal justice. And they raised a cheer for death.

Leonard Pitts Jr.

By Leonard Pitts Jr. -- It was a chilling moment, but also a clarifying one in that it validated the grimmest suspicions about at least some of those who support capital punishment. That support, after all, is often framed in terms of high morality, the argument being that only in taking an offender's life can a society truly express its revulsion over certain heinous crimes.

NY Times: The Military and the Death Penalty

The Military and the Death Penalty

Racism in the application of capital punishment has been well documented in the civilian justice system since the Supreme Court reinstated the penalty in 1976. Now comes evidence that racial disparity is even greater in death penalty cases in the military system.

SAFE California Announces Initiative to Replace California Death Penalty

SAFE California - Justice that works for everyone

The SAFE California Campaign announced today a ballot initiative for the 2012 general election to replace California’s death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. The initiative would convert death penalty sentences to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. “The death penalty system in California is broken and there is growing support for this change including from law enforcement,” says Jeanne Woodford, former Warden of San Quentin State Prison.

An Oregonian Asks: Does a Killer Have the Right to Die?

Marilyn Sewell - Unitarian Univeralist Minister, Writer.

By Marilyn Sewell -- Gary Haugen wants to die. Or at least that's what he says. He is a convicted killer who has repeatedly asked to have his appeals waived. Haugan beat to death his girlfriend's mother in 1981, and in 2003, killed a fellow inmate, who ended up with a crushed skull and 84 stab wounds. Haugan was to be executed at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, Oregon, on August 16, but his execution has been postponed until a judge orders a mental competency evaluation.

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