To the Editor:
I am pleased that Governor Kitzhaber has decided that he will no longer support the death penalty in Oregon. At the same time, I am dismayed that so many Oregonians disagree with him.
How can these people, those that disagree with the governor, countenance the fact that over two-thirds of the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty, putting the United States, in its refusal to do so, in league with China, North Korea, Iran and Yemen? Are they not aware that many countries now refuse to honor extradition requests from the United States because of it?
There are many reasons to abolish the death penalty, not the least of which is the fact that, in almost 40 years, 138 people throughout the country have been released from death row due to wrongful conviction. One wonders how many more should have been. I consider this gutsy decision on the governor’s part to be, perhaps, the high water mark of his administration.