I found this on Stephen Bright’s blog, Second Class Justice. It’s about 3 months old, but I totally missed it at the time and I think it’s very cool. The governor of Oregon has ended executions in his state through the rest of his term in office, becoming the second governor to do so (the other was George Ryan of Illinois).
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber announced on Nov. 22, 2011, that he will not allow the execution of any death row inmate while he is in office. The governor said the death penalty is morally wrong and unjustly administered.
“I am convinced we can find a better solution that keeps society safe, supports the victims of crime and their families and reflects Oregon values,” he stated in a written statement. “I refuse to be a part of this compromised and inequitable system any longer; and I will not allow further executions while I am Governor.”
Kitzhaber, who previously served two terms as governor from 1995 to 2003, allowed two executions in his first term – the 1996 execution of Douglas Franklin Wright and the 1997 execution of Harry Charles Moore. “I have regretted those choices ever since,” the governor stated. “Both because of my own deep personal convictions about capital punishment and also because in practice, Oregon has an expensive and unworkable system that fails to meet basic standards of justice.”
How about that, a politician who gives a damn about principle.