What could possibly go wrong? Bleeding heart Oregon governor commutes death sentences of all death row inmates


The following includes editorial content which is the opinion of the writer. 

SALEM, OR- Liberals just cannot help themselves. The lame duck, soon-to-be ex governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, last week commuted the death sentences of the entire population of the state’s death row, changing their punishment from execution to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Washington Post reports.

Brown, as opposed to following the desire expressed long ago by Oregon lawmakers, inserted her own personal opinion into her ill-advised decision.

In a statement, Brown said:

“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.”

A terrible crime? Clearly they did exactly that or they wouldn’t have found themselves on death row.

Like many states, being placed on Oregon’s death row means years, even decades of appeals. In fact, the state hasn’t put a prisoner to death since 1997, 25 years ago.

Brown is only the latest in a series of bleeding heart liberal governors to enact a moratorium on the death penalty. In implementing a moratorium on the death penalty, Brown called it ‘dysfunctional and immoral.”

Brown has served as the state’s governor for nearly eight years, having first assumed office in 2015. She was reelected in 2018, and is poised to step down early next year. Her successor, Tina Kotek, also a bleeding heart liberal Democrat, has also signaled she will extend the moratorium due to her personal religious beliefs.

In issuing the commutation order, which took effect the next day, she also noted the fact she had signed a bill into law in 2019 which “drastically reduced the circumstances in which a death sentence can be imposed.”

Oregon is among 27 states that currently authorize capital punishment, although three of those states, including Oregon, have governor imposed moratoriums, the Death Penalty Information Center reports.

Brown said in a statement:

“Unlike previous commutations I’ve granted to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary growth and rehabilitation, this commutation is not based on any rehabilitative efforts by the individuals on death row.” 

Brown continued:

“Instead, it reflects 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.”

So that’s the point…not enough white people are on death row. In so far as “an irreversible punishment,” the deaths caused by these death row inmates are likewise “irreversible.”

As far as costs are concerned, the last time Oregon put an inmate to death in 1996, it cost the state approximately $200,000, which is probably a bargain compared to the costs of keeping them incarcerated.


Criminal justice reform advocates praised Brown’s announcement. For example Jamila Hodge, executive director of Equal Justice USA issued a statement in which she said the death penalty amounted to “respond[ing] to violence with violence.”

Meanwhile, Frank Thompson, a former Oregon prisons superintendent and board member of the group Death Penalty Action, said in a statement that the announcement by Brown “took me by surprise.”

Thompson was the individual tasked with overseeing the construction of the state’s death chamber, which Brown, by virtue of her commutations, ordered dismantled, saying it was “unnecessary” in light of those commutations.

In a 2016 op-ed written in the New York Times, Thompson admitted:

“It’s hard to avoid giving up some of your empathy and humanity to aid in the killing of another human being.”

Last week, he noted he was “grateful to have lived to see this moment.”

“If I had one wish, it would be to be there personally to watch when the execution chamber whose construction I oversaw is officially and permanently dismantled.”

As Jim Carrey, playing the Grinch said in the movie, “Bleeding hearts of the world unite!”

Not surprisingly, family members of some of the victims killed by those “human beings” were angered by Brown’s announcement.

Sue Shirley, whose parents were killed by Randy Lee Guzek, one of the death row inmates told the Oregonian that she was “horrified and outraged” by Brown’s decision, as reported by the Oregonian.

Brown tried to claim in making her decision that she believed her decision would “bring closure” to the families, noting “the pain and uncertainty victims experience” as death row cases wind their way through the legal system. Perhaps that is a result of bureaucrats intentionally making the process unworkable.

According to Brown’s order, one case had been languishing since 1992. Brown said:

“My hope is that this commutation will bring us a significant step closer to finality in these cases.” 

According to Fox News, 17 people have been executed in the United States in 2022, all of which were carried out by lethal injection, citing information from the Death Penalty Information Center. Those executions took place in Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Missouri, and Alabama.

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