Oregon substantially narrows use of death penalty

The move comes weeks after the federal government announced that it would resume executing death-row inmates for the first time since 2003.

Posted: Aug 2, 2019 7:17 AM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Oregon will substantially narrow the use of the death penalty by limiting qualifying crimes.

Gov. Kate Brown signed a law Thursday to restrict capital punishment to apply to only four types of crimes. Those include terrorist killings and the pre-meditated murder of police officers. State lawmakers cannot introduce an outright ban on capital punishment without sending a measure to voters.

The move comes weeks after the federal government announced that it would resume executing death-row inmates for the first time since 2003.

Voters approved adding the death penalty to the Oregon Constitution in 1984. Brown extended a 2011 moratorium on using the death penalty.

The state Department of Corrections says there were 30 people on death row as of Jan. 1, 2019. The last execution was in 1997.

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