Oregon Holds Execution Rehearsal

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SALEM, Ore., Aug. 17 (UPI) — The Oregon State Penitentiary has held a practice run for what could be the state’s first execution in almost 15 years.

The rehearsal was held Tuesday, which had been Gary Haugen’s scheduled execution date, The Portland Oregonian reported. The execution was postponed when the state Supreme Court ruled in June that a mental competency hearing is required before Haugen can waive further appeals. Another hearing is set for Sept. 27.

Haugen complained to the newspaper about the way the rehearsal was carried out. In a telephone interview Tuesday night, he said his lawyers were not notified about it or given the chance to observe and that no spiritual adviser came to see him.

He said earlier Tuesday a corrections official tossed a belt to him and told him to measure his ankles, wrists, neck, arms and legs. He was not told anything about the procedure but assumes the prison needs the measurements for the straps to be used to secure him to the execution table.

“It needs to be done in not only an ethical way but in a moral and dignified manner,” he said.

Haugen, 49, has spent his adult life in prison. He was sentenced to death for killing another inmate in 2007.

Oregon has held only two executions since the U.S. Supreme Court restored the death penalty in 1978. The most recent was in 1997.

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