I Reject Your Appeal of My Rejection of Your, Uh, Rejection, Um… Where Was I?

September 14, 2012


A quick Friday story of why you just have to love the state of Oregon.

The governor of Oregon, seen here clearly not executing anyone.

Meet Governor John Kitzhaber.  Governor, everyone.  Everyone, the Governor.  Now, Kitzhaber is a doctor with serious moral issues with the death penalty, which is still legal in Oregon (it’s been outlawed twice and made legal twice).

When he was governor last time, he saw through the execution of two prisoners – both of whom waived all appeals, and the only two executed since Oregon reinstated the death penalty in 1984 –  because he felt it was his obligation as an elected official.  Now, though, he has declared a moratorium on executions while he is governor.  Not a pardon, or anything, but clemency while he is governor, on the grounds that the system is “compromised and inequitable.”

Now meet Gary Haugen.  Not too close, though.  Haugen is a convicted double-murderer, and one of a handful of people on Oregon’s death row.  He has rejected the governor’s clemency and filed a court appeal demanding he be executed.

I’m serious.

Haugen says he wants to be executed in order to protest the criminal justice system.  The courts have ruled that Haugen has the right to reject the governor’s clemency and insist on his execution.

So… the governor has appealed it.  He’s going to court to appeal Haugen’s appeal to reject his clemency.

I don’t care how you feel about the death penalty – you have to love the whole thing a little bit.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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47 Comments on “I Reject Your Appeal of My Rejection of Your, Uh, Rejection, Um… Where Was I?”

  1. customtripplanning Says:

    Okay, so this lets me know the electorate in Oregon, to vote this guy in, has similar problems with making good choices as my current state.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Yeah, we’re a hugely divided state with some questionable decisions. Actually, though, as far as Kitzhaber, he’s done some impressive things. He’s ornery and has called Oregon “ungovernable,” but he can be a crusader for education and medicine.


  2. Life With The Top Down Says:

    Now that’s a story…dam!


  3. Don't Quote Lily Says:

    Ummm wow…?! Yeah, that about sums it up.


  4. Go Jules Go Says:

    I feel like the best way to show my (staggering) approval of this post is to ‘like’ and ‘unlike’ it a few times, but I don’t want to concern you. You have more important things to worry about over there.


  5. becomingcliche Says:

    Like Patrick Stewart…(or was it Neal Patrick Harris?) once said “Give me the death penalty, or give me death!”


  6. skippingstones Says:

    And I wonder how much money this debate is going to cost the state? Down economy? pshaw… A governor’s job is clearly to shove his moral philosophy down the people’s throat. Damn the cost! (“This is war, Peacock!”)


  7. mistyslaws Says:

    Wait, I got lost somewhere around the appeal of the appeal. What are we fighting for again? Free S’mores? Ok, I’m in. Let’s do this. I’ll bring the marshmallows.


  8. Hippie Cahier Says:

    I started to write a tongue-in-cheek comment about slippery slopes and precedents and stuff, but then I realized you can’t see my tongue in my cheek. It’s a problem sometimes.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Totally going off of what you’re saying: I’ve never understood that phrase, “tongue in cheek.” I’ve never seen anyone actually DO that, you couldn’t talk if you did… what am I missing?


      • Hippie Cahier Says:

        I’ve wondered the same exact thing (no, really). This is why I was transfixed by Elizabeth Warren’s speech at the Democratic Convention. I kept thinking, “Sarcasm? Is that sarcasm? Or just an adorable mannerism.” Rhetorical devices fascinate me. What were we talking about?


        • Paul G. Eberlein Says:

          Two comments on this one:

          First, does the US Constitution have a clause or an amendment which defends the right of a person to request their own execution?

          Second, B-Man is right; you couldn’t talk. The phrase “tongue in cheek” indicates an action taken to prevent from laughing out loud at a ridiculous statement, position or opinion. Refer to the following:



          • Hippie Cahier Says:

            The aforementioned-unwritten tongue-in-cheek comment was something along the lines of The Kevorkian Amendment.
            I couldn’t have said that if my tongue were in my cheek. 😉


  9. Lula Harp Says:

    I love Oregon.


  10. shermangerherd Says:

    Put that murderer out of OUR misery.


  11. Lorna's Voice Says:

    It’s all kind of like a double negative. Or reverse psychology. Or Battle Ship… One of those.


  12. Eric Benac Says:

    I can’t wait for the appeal of the appeal of the appeal of the clemency.


  13. susielindau Says:

    I would love to know the backstory! My guess is he was wrongfully accused and his life is ruined anyway…just a guess…


  14. Audrey Says:

    I’m confused…..


  15. Deborah the Closet Monster Says:

    My head hurts. Holy wow.


  16. Michelle Gillies Says:

    Say what?!?


  17. Valentine Logar Says:

    I love your Gov! He is pretty awesome actually. That he would actually fight someone who wants to be put to death, is that somehow a double negative?


  18. Erynn Elizabeth Says:

    Just. I don’t know, this situation reminds me of reading Lolita, because it makes me feel sympathetic towards a terrible person. My emotions are confused.
    But my brain is delighted.


  19. benzeknees Says:

    How litigious can you get? Everyone has rights, but you also have to follow the dictates of duly elected leaders. If you don’t agree with the laws of the state you are in – why not ask for a transfer to a state where execution is allowed, like Texas, instead of causing all this uproar & confusion? This is just an attention grab!


    • alidaand000 Says:

      It does specifically say that he’s requesting the death penalty in protest of the criminal justice system, so it would be natural that he wants to make as big a deal out of this as possible.


      • The Byronic Man Says:

        True – it’s reasonable to suspect this “protest” is not entirely motivated by a desire for social justice. But then, if you can’t trust a death-row prisoner, who can you trust?


      • Anastasia Says:

        Couldn’t they just force them to watch The Life of David Gale together? Then say “hey guys, point made, movie…already made.” Then remind the convict he’s not being executed for fun, but because he earned it. And tell the Gov to stop his bellyachin’ and get on with it?


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Texas would have him half-executed before he got off the bus.


  20. Elyse Says:

    Life is pretty complicated. So too, apparently is death. Especially in Oregon.


  21. Anastasia Says:

    Oh political theater. Love/hate/love/hate/loathe. I say we widen the parameters for execution drastically.


  22. Ape No. 1 Says:

    Could we not just compromise here and replace Gary Haugen’s death penalty with an invitation to Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger upcoming wedding?


  23. Soma Mukherjee Says:

    You Guys make it so complicated why cant you just tie people to a tree and throw stones till he is gone,,


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