Ore. death row inmate back in court Thursday

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- A judge has allowed an Oregon death row inmate to fire his lawyers, a preliminary victory for the convicted murderer who wants to proceed with his execution.

Marion County Judge Jamese Rhoades (ja MEES' rodes) ruled Thursday that the relationship between 49-year-old inmate Gary Haugen and his two lawyers cannot be repaired. Attorneys Keith Goody and Andy Simrin argued that their client is delusional.

Haugen has said he wants to waive his appeals and die because he lacks faith in the criminal justice system. His execution was scheduled for next month but it was cancelled when the state Supreme Court ruled that Haugen must be more thoroughly evaluated to determine whether he is competent.

The judge did not rule on a request by Haugen's lawyers to remove the original judge from the case.