A court has struck down the death sentence of an inmate. This was in a ruling on Thursday. Moreover, it found lawmakers had actually altered “prevailing societal standards” for executions with a 2019 law change.
There are experts that believe the decision could, in fact, eliminate the death sentence for all inmates facing the penalty.
Abolishing the Death Penalty
There have been many arguments to give Oregonians reason for abolishing the death penalty. It’s related to moral, functional, financial, or even just recognizing that Oregon has not, in fact, executed anymore since 1997. In fact, that discussion could and should have to provide an opportunity for the family members of victims that are killed by death row defendants to share their perspectives as well. In fact, a vote would more than likely leave one side unhappy with the outcome. Moreover, it would give every Oregon voter a chance to have their say on this distinct constitutional question.
Court Ruling – Oregon Voters Can Have a Say
While a vote would undoubtedly leave one side unhappy with the outcome, it would have given every Oregon voter a chance to have their say on this unique constitutional question.
In 2019, state lawmakers passed SB 1013. In fact, the bill has, in fact, narrowing what crimes qualify as aggravated murder. Moreover, the only charge is that it carries capital punishment in Oregon. The court’s ruling does appear to rely on a section of the state’s Constitution that will prohibit disproportionate punishments. However, the law change does include a provision that can make it retroactive.
“This morning’s ruling, it is in my expectation, that every death sentence in Oregon is going to be overturning as a result,” said Jeff Ellis. Ellis is with the Oregon Capital Resource Center. “The court plainly said,’ It doesn’t matter when you have committed your crime. More importantly, when you are sentencing for that crime, if you’re on the list, that’s now been downgrading down to first-degree murder. Then you can’t be subject to the death penalty, even if your crime does predate that change.”