Death penalty case to be heard at UO School of Law

EUGENE, Ore. -- (March 12, 2013) -- Oregon death row inmate Gary Haugen is fighting Gov. John Kitzhaber for his right to die. The governor has granted the twice-convicted murderer a reprieve, but Haugen does not want it. 

The Oregon Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of Haugen v. Kitzhaber during its annual visit to the University of Oregon School of Law. The arguments will take place at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 14, in room 175 of the Knight Law Center, 1515 Agate St. in Eugene.

Haugen was sentenced to death in 2007 for the murder of a fellow inmate four years earlier. He was already serving a life sentence for the murder of his former girlfriend's mother.

Kitzhaber has said he has no sympathy for Haugen but opposes capital punishment and has been haunted by two executions he allowed to proceed during his two previous terms of governor, from 1995 to 2003. He has granted reprieves to all prisoners on Oregon's death row for as long as he remains in office – and he is eligible for re-election again in 2014.

The UO proceedings are open to the public. A capacity crowd is expected and an overflow room will be available. Video of the proceedings will be made available on the law school’s website later in the day.

Prior to the Haugen case, the court will hear arguments in the case of State v. Everett at 9 a.m. in room 175. Defendant Ronald Alan Everett has been granted review of a Court of Appeals decision affirming trial court decisions denying his motion for judgment of acquittal on charges of solicitation to commit aggravated murder and solicitation to commit assault in the second degree, and denying his motion to strike certain testimony by a state's witness.

After each argument, the Supreme Court's justices will respond to questions from students.

The Lane County Bar Association will have its monthly lunch at the law school following both arguments. Justices, court personnel, faculty and students will join members of the bar for the lunch.

The School of Law's nationally ranked legal research and writing program coordinates the Oregon Supreme Court visit on an annual basis.

Note to media: The Oregon Supreme Court has specific rules for media conduct in the courtroom. Only one still photographer and one video camera and technician are permitted in the courtroom. Media representatives must wear tasteful business attire and may not move about the room during proceedings. Recording equipment must be positioned before the session opens and must not be moved during proceedings. Equipment cannot produce distracting sound or light.

About Oregon Law

The University of Oregon School of Law has served the state, nation and world for more than 125 years through a commitment to excellence in scholarship, classroom teaching and public service. It is an American Bar Association-accredited law school, and Oregon's only public law school.

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

MEDIA CONTACT: Erick Hoffman, director of communications at Oregon Law, 541-346-1665, erickh@uoregon.edu; Ali Wayner, communications manager at Oregon Law, 541-346-7355, agreen@uoregon.edu

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Death penalty case to be heard at UO School of Law