Oregon lawmaker seeks death penalty repeal

Nov. 21, 2012 at 4:41 PM

PORTLAND, Ore., Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A year after Oregon's governor said he will stay all death sentences, a state lawmaker said he plans to announce legislation to repeal capital punishment.

State Rep. Mitch Greenlick, a longtime opponent of the death penalty, said he would take up Gov. John Kitzhaber's call to end the practice of state-sentenced executions and has authored a bill that would replace it with a sentence of life in prison without parole.

If the law passes the Legislature, it would go to a ballot referendum in 2014, The (Portland) Oregonian reported Tuesday.

Greenlick said the death penalty is both a moral and fiscal problem, with taxpayers on the hook for years, sometimes decades, of court proceedings that rarely result in an execution.

"Eventually [voters] are going to understand that this is either a fiscally correct thing to do or a morally correct thing to do," he said.

The state has a history of going back and forth on the issue. Capital punishment was a part of the Oregon constitution until 1964, when it was removed by a referendum. It was added back in 1981 via referendum and has remained a part of the penal code since then.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
TSU shooting: 1 dead, 1 wounded in third shooting this week at Houston campus
Listeria threat prompts Whole Foods cheese recall
Russia says missiles aimed at Syria did not land in Iran
Captive orca breeding banned at California's SeaWorld
Wrong drug used in Oklahoma execution