Oregon Department of Corrections eliminates the state’s death row

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Corrections is eliminating the state’s death row.

According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, the agency made the announcement Friday to eliminate the death row at the Oregon State Penitentiary. More than two dozen inmates are held there in solitary confinement.

The ACLU of Oregon is applauding the decision of the Department of Corrections. According to the ACLU, this move neither bars the death penalty in Oregon nor commutes the sentences of those condemned to death. However, the organization says it represents a positive shift away from the use of capital punishment.

“We applaud Oregon for closing our costly and cruel death row and moving to more humane and effective practices that keep prisoners and staff safe,” ACLU of Oregon Interim Executive Director, James Carson said. “Death row in Oregon is long-term solitary confinement that does not promote rehabilitation or accountability, nor does it make prisons safer.”

According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, currently, 29 inmates are sentenced to die in Oregon. Of those 27 live together at the Oregon State Penitentiary. They will be moved to general populations and other housing units in the state’s six maximum-security prisons.

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