Oregon Death Penalty News

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Poll Shows Oregonians Still Support Capital Punishment

Kristian Foden-Vencil | Feb. 1, 2012 6 a.m. | Portland, OR

Governor John Kitzhaber raised the issue of Oregon's death penalty this winter, when he placed a moratorium on executions for the rest of his tenure.

He urged Oregonians to "find a better solution."

But now, a new poll by OPB and DHM Research shows that most Oregonians favor the death penalty. Kristian Foden-Vencil has more.

Dave Husted a 41-year-old metal fabricator from Myrtle Point. He makes precision metal parts for things like guns.

He supports the death penalty for certain crimes.

"If you harm a child and kill that child to, forgive my lack of eloquence here, to get your jollies, I believe you should be executed," Husted says.

Husted's views are similar to those of many Oregonians.

The poll found that 57 percent favor the death penalty for some crimes; 39 percent oppose it. Four percent say the don't know.

Su Midghall, lead pollster for DHM Research, says those numbers haven't moved in a while. "Historically, Oregonians haven't changed a lot in their support for the death penalty. It was high 10 years ago, meaning over a majority then, it's still over a majority today."

The telephone survey polled 500 people throughout Oregon. It was conducted last week, and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.4 percent.

The poll found you could make some predictions about who supports and who opposes executions.

"More men and more Republicans favor the death penalty and they do tend to be outside of the urban core. Let's look at it from the other angle though, the ones who are most opposed. They're college educated female Democrats," according to Midghall.

Those two groups make up the people who say they "strongly" favor or oppose the death penalty. But Midghall says there's an important group of people in the middle.

"We have 60 percent almost of  Oregonians who support the death penalty for certain crimes. Half of that, so about 30 percent are soft in their support, meaning with additional information they could be persuaded to look at things differently."

In light of that, I asked metal fabricator Dave Husted whether his support of the death penalty is strong.

"I would be willing to stand and discuss the matter... lacking the screaming and hollering that usually occurs during these discussions," Husted says.

Reactions like that give Ron Steiner of Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, hope.

"When they start asking some questions. People who say they're somewhat in favor, they're fairly weakly held.  And when the discussion is held to find out all the things that surround the death penalty, there's quite a bit of movement," Steiner says.

On the other side of the capital punishment spectrum stands Clatsop County DA, Joshua Marquis.

"If you look at the last 20 years in America, approximately two thirds, generally support capital punishment. And this is slightly below that. I don't know if that's because  of a genuine change of attitude in Oregon," Marquis says.

A discussion is just what Governor Kitzhaber asked for when he issued a temporary reprieve in November, stopping the execution of murderer, Gary Haugen.

In an interview that will run on OPB's Think Out Loud Wednesday Kitzhaber reacted to the OPB DHM poll that shows a majority of Oregonians support capital punishment.

The governor explainied his actions, "I didn't abolish the death penalty. I didn't commute the sentences of everyone on death row to life in prison, which I could have done. I simply stayed the execution of Mr. Haugen and made it clear that I'm not going to carry out that sentence during  my term in office. With the hope of fostering a discussion about the death penalty. A, whether we still want it. And B, if we do want it, whether the way the death penalty is set up in Oregon is really what people thought they were voting for back in 1984."

That's when Oregonians reinstated capital punishment.






Angelstorms OL'Man

Yep, that's my Oregon. The thing is we need to enforce the death penalty that we have now.
This was designed to hurt....Its a SEAL Candace unless you have been there yo will never understand...

J - Dog

57% favor + 4% undecided (remain silent/sensitive to talk about) = 61% + 4.4 % Margin of error.  Sums up to 65.4% in support, got it!   :)

Get lost governor, let the law dictate what the voters decided already.  They said we want DP in action.  Move the wheels of justice and clear DR, starting with Gary Haugen.  He is ready to go! 

"I don't aim ta scare" - Jonah Hex


Conceding that anything over 50% is a majority, I don't believe 57% or 60% represents "most" Oregonians! Just wish the media would not over exaggerate but report the facts accurately!

J - Dog

February 02, 2012, 02:50:52 AM Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 02:53:07 AM by J - Dog

Conceding that anything over 50% is a majority, I don't believe 57% or 60% represents "most" Oregonians! Just wish the media would not over exaggerate but report the facts accurately!

Fuzzy math...having fun with it.  ;)

True, you certainly have to read between the lines when it comes to making informed decisions.  Media can be very bias as this depends on the stance of the author/media source.  Demographic/market information used is key in order to appeal toward a preferred audience of readers and viewers.  I often question research polls in general.  ??  You never really know how those questions are "framed" for good or bad.
"I don't aim ta scare" - Jonah Hex


March 11, 2013
Oregon killer's death sentence in court again

SALEM - Convicted murderer Gary Haugen's request to be executed will be heard by the state Supreme Court this week.

The seven justices will hear oral arguments Thursday on whether the twice-convicted murderer can legally reject an unconditional reprieve issued by Gov. John Kitzhaber in 2011. Kitzhaber's action blocked the execution two weeks before it was scheduled to take place.

Haugen won the first round in Marion County Circuit Court last August, when visiting Judge Timothy Alexander, now deceased, ruled that Haugen could refuse the reprieve.

The Supreme Court accepted Kitzhaber's appeal directly, the Statesman Journal reported Sunday.

Kitzhaber argues Haugen has no legal right to reject a reprieve because of the Oregon Constitution, the historical circumstances of clemency and previous court decisions about the governor's clemency powers, according to written arguments filed with the court.

The Department of Justice argues that the governor's constitutional power of clemency is clear. Haugen's lawyers say Kitzhaber's reprieve deprives him of federal constitutional rights such as a ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

The hearing will be at the University of Oregon, where the justices meet as part of their annual circuit of the state's three law schools.

The justices will not announce a decision immediately. The justices usually take six to nine months to issue a decision, but face no deadline.

Haugen was sentenced to death in 2007 for aggravated murder, the only crime for which Oregon's death penalty applies, in connection with the killing of another inmate at the Oregon State Penitentiary. He turns 51 this month.

I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.


Ore. death row inmate, 64, dies of natural causes
Mon Dec 16, 2013.

Oregon prison authorities say death row inmate Allen Gary Zweigart has died at 64 of natural causes. He had been on death row nine years.

He was convicted in Columbia County of killing his wife, Hong Ha Zweigart, in 2002.

According to state records, that leaves 34 men and one woman on death row.

Gov. John Kitzhaber has suspended executions. One inmate, Gary Haugen, has unsuccessfully pressed the courts to order the state to execute him.

Court records show Zweigart was a supermarket employee who plotted to kill his wife and hired the nephew of his lover to pull a fake invasion-robbery.

But the teenager couldn't go through with the killing, so Zweigart grabbed a gun and the shot the victim himself.

I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

Grinning Grim Reaper

Second death row inmate in Oregon wants execution

Jason Van Brumwell killed another inmate while serving a life sentence in Eugene's notorious 'Dari-Mart murder'

By Register-Guard and news service reports

Published: 12:00 a.m., Jan. 10
PORTLAND -- A second Ore­gon death row inmate is challenging the state to carry out its death penalty.

Jason Van Brumwell, originally jailed in a brutal Eugene murder, agrees with fellow inmate Gary Haugen that pursuing appeals is pointless and he should be executed.

He has yet to formally ask the Oregon Supreme Court to order that the sentence be carried out.  Well get going a$$hole!

The 38-year-old Brumwell was sent to death row in 2007 with Haugen after the two were convicted of a prison killing in September 2003. At the time, Brumwell was serving a life sentence for aggravated murder in the 1994 slaying of a convenience store clerk in Eugene.

Brumwell was 18 when he and three other teenagers plotted a late-night murder and robbery at a Dari-Mart store in west Eugene that prosecutors described as a satanic thrill killing. Testimony in the trial indicated that the young men, heavily involved in drugs and death metal music, planned to carve satanic symbols into the bodies of their victims or use blood to paint symbols on the store walls to frighten the community.

One of the teens beat to death store clerk Fran Wall, and Brumwell nearly beat to death a second clerk, Donna Ream, who survived despite losing half her blood. The crime went unsolved for five months before a Eugene detective tracked the killers through fake signatures on lottery tickets stolen from the market.

Marion County prosecutors used evidence from the Eugene murder when they tried Brumwell for his role in the prison killing. In an automatic appeal of the death sentence to the Oregon Supreme Court, Brumwell's attorneys argued that the evidence shouldn't have been allowed, but the high court upheld the sentence in 2011.

On Wednesday, speaking by telephone during a hearing in Marion County Circuit Court, Brumwell told the court of his intention to waive any further appeals The Oregonian reported . A Supreme Court spokesman said Thursday morning that the court had not yet received any communication from him.

"It's about this whole (expletive) system we've got here," Brumwell told the newspaper. "I told myself if it ever got to this point where everything breaks down" that he would withdraw and allow his death sentence to be carried out.  "I owe it to myself to be true to myself."

Haugen abandoned his appeals in 2011 and said he wanted to be executed. That was blocked by Gov. John Kitzhaber, who has said no inmate will be put to death as long as he's governor. Kitzhaber recently announced that he plans to seek another four-year term.

Brumwell said he's not intent on dying, but believes the process is rigged and unfair to him.  :'( :'( :'(

"Of course I want to live," he said. "When I look at outcomes, if I see that I cannot at least have a fighting chance to win, I will give up at the table."

There are 34 men and one woman on Oregon's death row. No inmate has been given a lethal injection since 1997.

Another man involved in the Eugene murder also is among the state's Death Row inmates. Michael James Hayward was the only one of four men who took part in the killing to receive the death sentence for the crime.

Hayward, now 38, once inscribed "Dari Mart Killer" on the wall of his Death Row cell.

Two other men also were convicted for taking part in the murder. Johl Brock, the getaway driver, was sentenced to 11 years, and Daniel Rabago was sentenced to 12 years. Both have since been released.


Just give him what he wants.  8)
Vengence is mine saith the Lord...who are we to question the instruments used to carry it out?


Oregon Court Keeps Gregory Bowen On Death Row
May 30, 2014

The Oregon Supreme Court has affirmed the sentence of an inmate on death row for more than a decade.

Gregory Allen Bowen fatally shot 76-year-old Don Christiansen in December 2001 and then stole guns from the man's home.

A Curry County jury decided in 2003 that Bowen should be executed. After a series of challenges and after once sending the sentence back to the trial court, the Supreme Court ruled Friday that the trial judge had gotten the sentencing handled correctly.

Only two inmates have been executed since Oregon voters reinstated capital punishment in 1984. A majority of death row inmates have been there more than a decade.

I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

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