Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is a hypocrite. He was governor when the state’s assisted suicide legalization law went into effect and he administered the law with gusto, repeatedly stating that his job was to carry out the people’s will by moving doctor-presribed death into practice. After all the people of Oregon had twice voted for legalization.
The people of Oregon have twice voted for the death penalty too, but now, Kitzhaber could care less about “the people’s will.” He has used his power as governor to arbitrarily thwart the voters’ desires by refusing to carry out executions during his term. In other words, Kitzhaber likes assisted suicide so he makes sure the death system goes forward. But he doesn’t like the death penalty, so he stops it. That’s governance by the rule of man, not law.
Now, a condemned inmate, whose execution was stayed indefinitely by Kitzhaber’s move, is furious, saying he wants to die. From the Oregonian the story:
Convicted killer Gary Haugen walks out of Marion County Courthouse after appearing at a hearing where a judge considered the prosecutors’ request to issue a death warrant.A condemned inmate who was scheduled to be executed next month is now slamming Gov. John Kitzhaber for giving him a reprieve, saying the governor didn’t have the guts to carry out the execution. Two-time murderer Gary Haugen had voluntarily given up his legal challenges, saying he wants to be executed in protest of a criminal justice system he views as broken...
The 49-year-old inmate said he plans to ask lawyers about possible legal action to fight Kitzhaber’s temporary reprieve, which lasts until the governor leaves office. A Marion County judge had twice signed a death warrant ordering Haugen’s execution. The first was reversed when the state Supreme Court intervened; the second was overruled by Kitzhaber two weeks before the Dec. 6 execution.
“I’m going to have to get with some serious legal experts and figure out really if he can do this,” Haugen said. “I think there’s got to be some constitutional violations. Man, this is definitely cruel and unusual punishment. You don’t bring a guy to the table twice and then just stop it.”
Hey, Haugen: Eat really unhealthily to you get cancer or a bad heart c0ndition, or drink some prison-made bathtub gin so you get kidney or liver disease. Then, Kitzhauber will be all for your hastened death.
More broadly, since assisted suicide/euthanasia are not really about terminal illnesses but using death as a tool to eliminate suffering, let us ponder this question: What if a prisoner prefers death to serving life imprisonment or a long sentence? Or, because he or she thinks only death will redeem them for their crime? Should he/she have or not have the right to assisted suicide?
Under euthanasia consciousness, the answer should be yes: Since only a suffering person is allowed to define what unbearable suffering is for assisted suicide purposes under euthanasia ideology, and since we all have a fundamental right to choose the time, manner, methods, and reason for our own deathsy, why not allow them a little “death with dignity?” Who are the people of any state to make anyone suffer?
On a related note, I recall when the ACLU sued to stop executions, claiming that the same drugs used in euthanasia caused pain and thus was cruel and unusual punishment. This is the same ACLU that pushes assisted suicide as a fundamental constitutional right. I asked: “But what a prisoner wants to die? We could call it cruel and unsual, death with dignty.” Ha!