OR: Gary Haugen could find out Tuesday whether a judge will
Tue Sep 27, 2011 15:39
Judge to decide on inmate's execution wish Monday, September 26, 2011
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Death row inmate Gary Haugen could find out Tuesday whether a judge will grant his wish to be executed, a process that was slowed by questions about Haugen's mental competency.
The twice-convicted murderer was scheduled to die in August after he waived his appeals. But the state Supreme Court canceled his execution, saying he needed to be evaluated more thoroughly.
On Tuesday, a Salem judge will hold a hearing to review the findings of a psychiatric evaluation and determine whether Haugen is competent to choose to die.
In an interview with Oregon Public Broadcasting aired on Monday (http://bit.ly/oLZKkm ), Haugen said one reason he wants to be executed is to end his time on death row.
"Hey, it's hell. Be away from your family, be away from your loved ones. Watch all your people die while you sit in this little 9 by 8 cage," he said in the interview, and "you're stuck with the same 30 some odd people in the same spot for however many years you're on the row fighting."
Haugen reiterated that he is mentally capable of deciding whether he lives or dies. He criticized his former attorneys for raising questions about his mental health and putting him in a Catch 22 situation.
"If you argue against incompetency then you're incompetent. So you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't," Haugen told OPB.
While in prison for the 1981 murder of a former girlfriend's mother, Haugen was sentenced to death for the murder of David Polin, who was found with 84 stab wounds and a crushed skull. Haugen has denied committing the 2003 murder; he and another inmate were convicted of the murder.
OPB also interviewed Clarinda Perez, Polin's widow.
"I don't think for one minute he's not mentally capable, " she said.
Perez recalled Haugen's demeanor during his trial for her husband's murder.
"The first look I ever had at him was real smug. It was just really antagonistic, really cocky, really bold personality. He would sit in the courtroom and just like look and smile at the whole crowd and just love the whole crowd looking at him," she said.
While Perez is not against executing Haugen, she said it wouldn't give her any relief, and it would give Haugen what he wants.
"Him dying is not going to change anything," she said. "The only thing I can say is he's not going to be able to kill again."
Oregon's last execution was in 1997. The state has executed two inmates since voters reinstated the death penalty in 1984, and both had waived their appeals. Oregon has 35 men and one woman on death row, including Haugen.
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OR: Gary Haugen could find out Tuesday whether a judge will Petra.,Tue Sep 27 15:39
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