Judge invalidates death warrant for Oregon inmate

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- A Marion County judge has invalidated his own execution warrant for an Oregon inmate after the state Supreme Court demanded that he show more proof of the inmate's mental competence.

The Oregon Supreme Court gave Judge Joseph Guimond a choice. He could either defend his decision in arguments before the court, or invalidate the death warrant and hold a competency hearing.

The Oregonian reports that Guimond says in a letter to the state Supreme Court that while he disagrees with the court, he would vacate the death warrant for inmate Gary Haugen and schedule a competency hearing.

The state Supreme Court found that Guimond didn't do a sufficient job of weighing Haugen's competency before sentencing him to death.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com