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New Oregon Governor Continues Moratorium On Executions

Alan Sylvestre
Oregon Governor Kate Brown will continue a moratorium on carrying out the death penalty in the state.

Oregon's new governor Kate Brown said she'll continue a moratorium on carrying out the death penalty.

The Democrat made her remarks during a state capitol press conference Friday.

She was sworn into office on Wednesday to replace John Kitzhaber, who resigned amid a pair of criminal ethics investigations. It was Kitzhaber who put a hold on the Oregon death penalty in 2011 just weeks before a scheduled execution.

Brown said she'll continue that policy for now.

"There needs to be a broader discussion about fixing the system,” she said. “Until that discussion, I am upholding the moratorium, or I will be upholding the moratorium imposed by Governor Kitzhaber."

The group Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty applauded Brown's statement but said it will continue its effort to ban capital punishment altogether. That would require a statewide vote.

Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis, who supports the death penalty, said he was disappointed but not surprised by Governor Brown's announcement.