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News Scan

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Victim's Family Speaks Out After Death Sentence Reprieve: Gary Haugen's first victim are speaking out against Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber's decision to grant Haugen a reprieve. Haugen was scheduled to be executed December 6. Mary Archer, Haugen's first victim, was 38-years-old when he killed her in 1981. While Haugen wasn't put on death row for his first crime (he was given a death sentence after killing another inmate), Archer's family members say what Kitzhaber did is still an injustice to all of his victims. Ard Pratt, Archer's former husband, said Kitzhaber called him before he made the announcement. "When he told me that, I told him exactly what I thought of what he was doing, and the fact that he's a coward for not following through," Ard Pratt said. The family says the Governor could have taken action sooner, instead of waiting weeks before the scheduled execution. "... he went right ahead and let everybody get dragged through the mud," said Kathy Pratt, Mary Archer's daughter. They worry that the victims associated with Haugen will have to relive the pain if they have to go through this process again. "I would really rather not but it's an obligation that I have to do that to see that justice is finally done," Ard Pratt said.

Ohio Bill Would Require Victim Notification of Parole Hearings: Marc Kovac, the Capital Bureau Chief for Dix Communications, reports legislation introduced in the Ohio Senate would require prosecutors to inform crime victims and their families in advance of their perpetrators parole hearings. The bill has been titled Roberta's law in memory of a young girl who was raped and stabbed to death. Her family was not notified when her assailant was paroled, and instead her father read about it in the newspaper. Her family did not have the opportunity to speak at the parole hearing. Under current state law, prosecutors are only required to contact victims about parole hearings for offenders if victims request to be notified. Under the proposed legislation, prosecutors would be required to contact victims 60 days before parole hearings, parole board recommendations on early release, or sentence commutations regardless of whether notifications were requested. The legislation would also include voluntary manslaughter in the list of sexually oriented offenses that comply with sex offender registration requirements. 

2 Comments

RE: Kitzhaber, the news story confirms a low opinion of him.

With respect to the Ohio parole, it seems that, once again, criminals are given far too lenient sentences. Where are young girl is raped and stabbed to death, parole after only about 20 years in prison is simply unacceptable.

What is it about people that think that releasing vicious killers is a good idea? Hopefully, no one will be harmed by this kindness to the cruel.

A rape and murder of a young girl is a crime that should be subject to a mandatory death penalty.

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