Before leaving office, Democratic Governor of Oregon Kate Brown commuted all of the state’s death sentences.
On Tuesday, Brown made her decision known on social media.
“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,” Brown stated.
In an interview, Brown explained the commutations’ justifications.
It is immoral, she claimed. The state taking a life is not serving justice.
According to where you live in this state and in this country, its effects are uneven, she continued. It is not logical. It costs taxpayers millions of dollars and accomplishes nothing to stop violent crime.
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
Among those with commuted sentences were:
- Jesse Caleb Compton, who in 1997 abused, burnt, and starved a 3-year-old child.
- Clinton Wendell Cunningham, who raped and stabbed a Canadian hitchhiker in 1991.
- Christian Michael Longo, who, in 2001, stuffed the bodies of his wife and their three young children with sleeping bags and suitcases before going back to work the following day and attending a pizza party.
- Michael Martin McDonnell, who, in 1984, after escaping from the farm annex of the Oregon State Penitentiary, stabbed a woman 42 times on a country road.
- Marco Antonio Montez, who, in 1987, after receiving an early release from a Salem jail, tormented a woman, killed her by strangling her with a bedsheet, and set her body afire with lighter fluid.
- Ricardo Pineda Serrano, who murdered a mother and her two sons in 2010.
- Bruce Aldon Turnidge and his son Joshua Turnidge for creating and detonating a bomb at a bank in 2008, which resulted in the deaths of a police captain and a bomb technician..
- Tara Ellyssia Zyst, who in 1994 killed two brothers when they were traveling together using a samurai sword.
Despite the death penalty being lawful, no one has been put to death in the state since 1997.