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State justices to hear arguments in Haugen death case

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Oregon Supreme Court justices who will decide whether death row inmate Gary Haugen should die will hear arguments Thursday morning in Eugene.

The University of Oregon School of Law will host the court’s oral arguments in the case Haugen v. Kitzhaber at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 14.

It’s the court’s annual visit to the law school. After the arguments the court will answer questions from students.

The proceedings are open to the public in room 175 of the Knight Law Center, 1515 Agate St. Video of the arguments will also be available on the law school’s website later Thursday.

The case follows Haugen who is fighting Gov. John Kitzhaber for the right to be executed.

”Even if Haugen wins his appeal, it would only benefit death row inmates who want to be executed, which right now is a set of one,” said Tung Yin Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School. “However, there might be indirect effects from a Haugen victory. Gov. Kitzhaber could respond by commuting Haugen's death sentence to a life term — and maybe those of the remaining death row inmates. If Kitzhaber made it clear that he won't allow any death sentences to be issued while he is in office, local prosecutors might stop bringing capital cases.”