Letters to the editor
by: GETTY IMAGES Gary Haugen was in prison for killing his ex-girlfriend's mother in Northeast Portland when he killed a penitentiary inmate in 2003 and was sentenced to death. He has dismissed his attorneys and dropped appeals of his sentence. His execution by lethal injection in a room similar to this Texas chamber was set for Aug. 16.

Editor's note: On Wednesday, July 6, the Oregon Supreme Court ordered Gary Haugen's Aug. 16 execution canceled until a mental evaluation could be completed.

It's OK to put all of the religious verbiage aside and allow this inmate his request to die (Three Needles. Six Minutes. The End., June 16).

It serves no purpose to continue his life if he chooses to have the judicial system end it for him. We are not bound by a book written thousands of years ago by Arabs in another part of the world. We live by the laws of man and the government of those men.

Nothing will be gained by interfering with justice for Mr. Haugen.

Gregory Buell


It's wrong to take a life

Taking a life is wrong, be it by an individual or a government (Three Needles. Six Minutes. The End., June 16).

I, for one, do not believe in capital punishment because it is not equally handed down. Why can a person get behind a wheel of a car and mow down his or her spouse and kill them in a fit of rage and be up for the death penalty, but if same person goes out and gets crazy drunk and gets behind the wheel of a car and kills someone they get five to 20 years or less and rarely more?

No matter how you spin it, taking someone's life is not justification to take their life. It is pure revenge be it an individual's or 'government's.' What needs to be done is put these people away and throw away the key and limit the appeal process.

Randy Crouse

Yuma, Ariz.

Bible upholds death penalty

Some members of the Christian faith are against Gary Haugen's death (Three Needles. Six Minutes. The End., June 16).

But the God of the Bible would uphold it. God first told non-Jewish Noah, 'Anyone shedding man's blood, by man will his own blood be shed, for in God's image he made man' (Genesis 9:6).

Many centuries later to the Jews, He reiterated, 'Without fail, the murderer should be put to death' (Numbers 35:17). And under inspiration, Paul wrote of the government's role in executions, 'For it is God's minister to you for your good. But if you are doing what is bad, be in fear; for it is not without purpose that it bears the sword; for it is God's minister, an avenger to express wrath upon the one practicing what is bad' (Romans 13:4).

For Christians, God's view is found in the Bible. There are many other scriptures that uphold what I wrote, but I chose these three because they are from very different points in time and to different types of people over centuries of time.

Gloria Bredthauer

Vancouver, Wash.

Religious groups won't speak up

So this religious community doesn't want the state to end anyone's life, whether they want it to happen or not (Three Needles. Six Minutes. The End., June 16).

But in Oregon City things are different because there is a Christian group that seems to routinely condemn its members to death without so much as a trial (see 'Oregon City faith-healers sentenced to 90 days in jail,', June 24), yet these other groups against the death penalty don't speak out in outrage against that. Why?

Isn't it for all intents and purposes the same thing? I am not impressed by their hypocrisy.

Brian Wilson

Southeast Portland

Devil didn't force Haugen to kill

Which is worse, capital punishment or ransoming the flocks' eternal salvation with their vote (Three Needles. Six Minutes. The End., June 16)?

If nothing else, there is reason to pay close attention to what is being said at all congregations and enlisting the help of the IRS to strip any house of worship of its nonprofit status because of the political diatribe spewed from the pulpit by third-rate con men.

Evidently Mr. Haugen could have entered a plea of insanity, saying the devil made him do it. If the church leaders agree, they are equally nuts and all the while the value and ability of controlling free will is diminished by the proposition of perpetual banquet in heaven that is yours for your tithe or willingness to pay $1,000 a seat at temple.

One can only imagine the thanks that will be shown by an Omnipotent Creator for the creation's willingness and ability to act on behalf of an Omnipotent Creator that can't accomplish its own ends.

By default, the bad actors make the rules. There wouldn't be laws against theft if people didn't steal. Indeed, the justice system is still on trial and the consent of the governed is being tried by leadership that exploits the health of the community for the status quo of leadership.

Mr. Haugen chose to separate himself from considerate conscientious behaviors that are the underpinnings of a healthy community. In abiding by his own values and standards, he forfeited any conscientious consideration beyond receiving the punishment he is due.

Christopher W. Osborn

Southeast Portland

Repeat offender deserves death

What about the sanctity of life for Haugen's two victims and what about their choice as to live rather than die (Three Needles. Six Minutes. The End., June 16)?

Haugen took that away from them.

Why are these bleeding hearts arguing for his sanctity and his choice? Ridiculous. The death penalty is appropriate in cases where there is irrefutable evidence of guilt for the crime of murder - and certainly so in the case of a repeat murderer like Haugen.

Ann Friday

Southwest Portland

Capital punishment deters crime

Capital punishment could be and should be the best form of crime deterrent that we have, but we do it like the people who committed the crime: hush-hush and cowardly (Three Needles. Six Minutes. The End., June 16).

Show a kid in high school a tape of an execution, give them the story of why that that person was put to death and most importantly, show them crime scene photos.

The religious leaders that are opposed to capital punishment because they think their followers are against it, tell them you are going to use their tithe money to house and care for a cold-blooded murderer and see how big your congregation is then.

Daniel Mack


Advocates need to work harder

This can be a healing process for the men, but compassion for men who have abused women is something the domestic violence advocate and batterer intervention community has a hard time coming to terms with (Domestic violence program lets abusers, abused talk it out, June 2).

Sadly, I have heard jokes from advocates about the surrogate dialog interventions. Usually they say this type of thing is a 'dating service' for the participants.

My heart sank when hearing this comment, because the attitude of those who are helping the women to be empowered and respected have a superior view of themselves in comparison to who they are helping. This makes them less able to see the strength of a survivor and less effective at empowering them to make lasting changes.

We need to be open to doing new and innovative means of addressing this issue or we will get what we have always had.

Phil Broyles

Executive Director

Teras Intervention and Counseling Inc.

Southeast Portland

Go to top