OADP Response to Salem Journal Editorial on Haugen Case

Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (OADP)

Dear Mr. Hughes,

Congratulations and thank you for the viewpoint that “the death penalty case (that of Gary Haugen) has turned into a political circus that neither serves justice nor compels Oregonians to confront the barbarianism of capital punishment”.

Additionally your viewpoint includes sage comments such as…..””true lifetime imprisonment should replace capital punishment”; “capital punishment is ‘madness’”; “one measurement of capital punishment must be what it does to the people who carry it out”; “As a society, we are not just killing a man but also wounding the spirits of others still alive”; and “Indeed there should be little question that capital punishment is an antiquated and indefensible response to heinous crimes”.

Your viewpoint is shared by a majority of Oregonians today as we watch Maryland repeal its death penalty and as the legislatures of Delaware and Colorado begin debate with the same intent. We join you and the Governor in urging the legislature to take the vote to the people.

There is one important item that I must take issue with your viewpoint, that being “let the heinous murderer die by the state’s hand”….may I remind you that we the people are the state. An execution of Gary Haugen will include the fact that we all will have our hand on the gurney. I say, and most Oregonians will say, “not in my name”. Let’s continue the conversation, using the many reasons in your commentary and move toward a speedy repeal of the Oregon death penalty, replacing it with life without the possibility of parole.

Ron Steiner
Board Chair of Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (OADP)
(503) 990-7060
Email: rsteiner@swcp.com
Box 2862
Salem, OR 97308

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