PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber says he won't OK the execution of death-row inmate Gary Haugen, even if the Oregon Supreme Court finds he can't force the inmate to accept a reprieve.
Haugen wants to be executed, but the governor has blocked it on moral grounds. The high court heard arguments in the standoff Thursday.
Kitzhaber briefly discussed the case Friday during an interview with Oregon Public Broadcasting.
The governor said he's confident the court will determine the state Constitution gives him the authority to issue a reprieve even if Haugen doesn't want it. But if he should lose, Kitzhaber says he still won't approve.
Kitzhaber explained that governors get a call shortly before executions, asking whether there is a reason an execution should not take place. Kitzhaber said he'll respond: "Yes."