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New Oregon Governor Continues Moratorium On Executions

Oregon Governor Kate Brown will continue a moratorium on carrying out the death penalty in the state.
Alan Sylvestre
/
OPB
Oregon Governor Kate Brown will continue a moratorium on carrying out the death penalty in the state.

Oregon's new governor Kate Brown said she'll continue a moratorium on carrying out the death penalty.

The Democrat made her remarks during a state capitol press conference Friday.

She was sworn into office on Wednesday to replace John Kitzhaber, who resigned amid a pair of criminal ethics investigations. It was Kitzhaber who put a hold on the Oregon death penalty in 2011 just weeks before a scheduled execution.

Brown said she'll continue that policy for now.

"There needs to be a broader discussion about fixing the system,” she said. “Until that discussion, I am upholding the moratorium, or I will be upholding the moratorium imposed by Governor Kitzhaber."

The group Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty applauded Brown's statement but said it will continue its effort to ban capital punishment altogether. That would require a statewide vote.

Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis, who supports the death penalty, said he was disappointed but not surprised by Governor Brown's announcement.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage. Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.