SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Convicted murderer Gary Haugen's request to be executed will be heard by the state Supreme Court next week.
The seven justices will hear oral arguments Thursday on whether the twice-convicted murderer can legally reject an unconditional reprieve issued by Gov. John Kitzhaber in 2011. Kitzhaber's action blocked the execution two weeks before it was scheduled to take place.
The Statesmen Journal reports (http://stjr.nl/13PWxb4 ) Haugen won the first round in Marion County Circuit Court. The Supreme Court accepted Kitzhaber's appeal directly.
Kitzhaber argues Haugen has no legal right to reject a reprieve because of the Oregon Constitution; the historical circumstances of clemency; and previous court decisions about the governor's clemency powers.
Haugen's lawyers say Kitzhaber's reprieve deprives him of federal constitutional rights such as a ban on cruel and unusual punishment.