A death row inmate who wants to be executed can reject Gov. John Kitzhaber's reprieve, a judge ruled Friday, but the govenror will likely appeal.
Gary Haugen, who has been pushing for his execution for more than a year, challenged Kitzhaber's moratorium on the death penalty earlier this year after the governor said he was morally opposed to capital punishment.
On Friday, Judge Timothy Alexander issued his ruling.
"As soon as this decision is final, a hearing will be set to establish an execution date," Alexander wrote.
A spokeswoman for Kitzhaber responded to the ruling, however, and said, "We are confident that the Governor's authority will be upheld. We are currently reviewing the case and will likely appeal."
Haugen was sentenced to death for the 2007 murder of fellow inmate David Polin, who suffered 84 stab wounds and a crushed skull. He and one other man mistakenly believed Polin was reporting their drug activities to prison officials.
At the time, Haugen was already in prison for the 1981 murder of his ex-girlfriend's mother.
Though he had an execution date set for last year, it was blocked and Kitzhaber later announced his moratorium. Kitzhaber said he regrets the executions of two men who died during his first term as governor in the 1990s.
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