Oregon state's death-row sentences have all been commuted!

Salem, Oregon - With just a few weeks before her term in office ends, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has commuted the sentences of all people on death row in the state.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has commuted the sentences of 17 people awaiting execution to life in prison.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has commuted the sentences of 17 people awaiting execution to life in prison.  © JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Brown announced on Tuesday that she would be commuting the sentences of all 17 people in Oregon awaiting execution to life in prison without the chance of parole. The order is set to take effect on Wednesday.

"I have long believed that justice is not advanced by taking a life, and the state should not be in the business of executing people – even if a terrible crime placed them in prison," Brown said in a statement.

"Unlike previous commutations I’ve granted to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary growth and rehabilitation, this commutation is not based on any rehabilitative efforts by the individuals on death row," she continued.

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"Instead, it reflects the recognition that the death penalty is immoral."

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown continues her executive track record

Oregon has not executed a person convicted of a crime since 1997. Brown and her predecessor, John Kitzhaber, extended moratoriums on executions while at the helm of the state government.

During her tenure, Brown has pardoned or commuted sentences of more than 1,000 people during the coronavirus pandemic, including allowing 73 minors convicted of murder, assault, rape, and manslaughter to apply for early release, the Guardian reported. She has also pardoned more than 47,000 people convicted of possessing one ounce or less of marijuana.

"I also recognize the pain and uncertainty victims experience as they wait for decades while individuals sit on death row – especially in states with moratoriums on executions – without resolution. My hope is that this commutation will bring us a significant step closer to finality in these cases," Brown added after signing Tuesday's order.

Cover photo: JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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