Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Oregon Man Wants to Volunteer for Execution

Gary Haugen, an Oregon death-row inmate, wants to drop any further appeals and die by lethal injection as soon as possible. Haugen is what is known in capital punishment circles as a volunteer. Each year in America a handful of condemned inmates are executed because they want to be executed.

Pennsylvania has executed thee inmates in thirty years. All three were volunteers. The last execution in the United States, Jeffrey Motts of South Carolina was also a volunteer. If Haugen gets his way, he will become the first prisoner put to death in Oregon in almost 15 years.

Haugen is scheduled to appear Friday before a Marion County judge at a hearing he requested to explain his desire to be executed. If the judge finds that Haugen is mentally competent to drop his appeals, he could be executed this summer, officials said Monday, reported the Statesman-Journal.

Haugen and another inmate, Jason Brumwell, landed on death row in 2007, when both were convicted of killing a third inmate at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem. The inmate suffered a crushed skull and 84 stab wounds. The two assailants used homemade knives, a large steel screw and a leg from a stool as murder weapons. The prosecution asserted that the slaying was motivated by drug conflicts, revenge and a mistaken belief that the victim was an informant for prison officials, according to the Statesman-Journal.

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