Outgoing Oregon Governor Commutes Death Sentences

With one month left in office,  Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced that she is commuting the death sentences of all seventeen murderers on the state’s death row to life without the possibility of parole.  CBS News reports that Brown, who has earned a reputation for issuing executive orders without legislative or public input, told reporters “I have long believed that justice is not advanced by taking a life…”  In 1978 and again in 1984, Oregon voters reinstated the death penalty for the state’s worst murderers  but the democrat-controlled government has not allowed an execution since 1997.  Brown is not the only governor who substituted her views on the death penalty for those of the people she is supposed to represent.  In 2019, newly-elected California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a reprieve for the murderers on that state’s death row, and dismantled the execution chamber.  He is currently shipping the state’s worst murderers out of death row to other prisons with more pleasant living conditions.