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Crime, Law and Justice
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence

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Oregon's Supreme Court has upheld the conviction and death sentence of Michael Washington. The Gresham, Oregon man is on death row for the 2004 murder of Mohamed Jabbie, an immigrant from Sierra Leone.

The ruling comes as capital punishment faces increased scrutiny nationwide after a botched execution by lethal injection in Oklahoma.

After Washington's 2010 murder conviction, he claimed he wasn't given a fair trial. Among other things, he said Oregon's system of lethal injection violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

The justices turned aside that argument. But it doesn't mean Washington will face execution any time soon. Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has imposed a moratorium on the death penalty while he's in office.