SALEM The lawyer for an Oregon killer condemned to the death penalty says the governor is breaking the law and must allow his client to die.
Gary Haugen and a co-conspirator were convicted in 2007 of killing another inmate while he was serving time for the 1981 murder of a former girlfriend's mother.
Haugen was sentenced to death last year but Governor John Kitzhaber issued a reprieve shortly before Haugen's scheduled execution. Kitzhaber said he won't oversee any more executions because he believes the state's death penalty scheme is unfair.
As first reported by The Oregonian, Haugen s attorney sent a letter on Monday in which he argued the governor s reprieve did not legally stand up to definitions under the law, and challenged his authority to suspend capital punishment.
In the letter, Attorney Harrison Latto calls on the governor to repeal his decision from last fall and set a new execution date for Haugen. He argued the governor's issuance did not legally constitute a reprieve.
Latto also argued a reprieve must be specific to the condemned person, which he argues Kitzhaber's was not.
While the Governor has not yet reviewed the letter, his constitutional authority is clear, Kitzhaber's spokesman Tim Raphael said Tuesday.