Outgoing Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday she would be commuting all current death sentences in the state to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
There were 17 individuals on Oregon’s death row prior to Brown commuting their sentences.
“I have long believed that justice is not advanced by taking a life, and the state should not be in the business of executing people — even if a terrible crime placed them in prison,” Brown said in a statement.
Justice is not advanced by taking a life, and the state should not be in the business of executing people— even if a terrible crime placed them in prison. Today I am commuting all death sentences in Oregon to life without parole, so we no longer have anyone facing execution here. pic.twitter.com/S60LG2mRgJ
— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) December 14, 2022
Brown maintained the state’s moratorium on the death penalty upon taking office in 2015, calling the practice “dysfunctional and immoral.” (RELATED: ‘You Deserve The Death Penalty’: DeSantis Reacts To Parkland School Shooter’s Sentencing Recommendation)
Brown said the commutations have nothing to do with “rehabilitative efforts by the individuals on death row” but rather is based on “the recognition that the death penalty is immoral.”
“It is an irreversible punishment that does not allow for correction; is wasteful of taxpayer dollars; does not make communities safer; and cannot be and never has been administered fairly and equitably,” Brown continued in the statement.
The order is set to take effect Wednesday.
Brown previously pardoned all those in her state in November who were charged with simple possession of marijuana. The move abolished an estimated 47,000 convictions from the criminal records of about 45,000 people.