Condemned inmate praises halt to death penalty

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- A condemned inmate spared by a reprieve from Oregon's governor is applauding Gov. John Kitzhaber's decision to temporarily halt all executions and start a statewide debate about the death penalty.

Kitzhaber said he's morally opposed to the death penalty and Oregon's system of capital punishment is arbitrary, inequitable and expensive.

Two-time murderer Gary Haugen told The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/tLWI5e ) in a phone interview from prison on Wednesday that the governor cited some of the same criticisms that Haugen has raised.

The 49-year-old inmate had waived his legal challenges and prepared for execution next month in part to protest a system he says is broken.

Haugen did say he was irritated that Kitzhaber didn't act earlier while lawyers and judges wrangled for months over Haugen's competence.

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