Family seeks justice after death sentence reprieve

Family seeks justice after death sentence reprieve

PORTLAND, Ore. - Gary Haugen was supposed to be executed next week but with the execution now halted, the family of Haugen's first victim is calling out Oregon's governor.

While Haugen's first victim isn't the reason he was put on death row, the Pratt family says what's happening is still an injustice to all of his victims.

Mary Archer was just 38 years old in 1981 when Haugen killed her.

"After beating her and raping her and basically taking her from room to room in the house, continuing to do these things," said Kathy Pratt.

Pratt said her sister had broken up with Haugen.

"In his own mind the reason is because my mom came between he and my sister," she said.

Haugen was sentenced to life in prison. For years Archer's family went to his parole hearings.

"His chair was right here in front of us," Pratt said. "You could literally reach out and touch him. We had to be that physically close to him with only his hands restrained. It was absolutely sickening – just enough to make you never want to go back."

In 2003 Haugen killed inmate David Polin and was sentenced to death row. He was scheduled to die Dec. 6 but Gov. John Kitzhaber declared a moratorium on the death penalty.

Before the governor's announcement, Kitzhaber called Ard Pratt.

"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 had chances to stop the process sooner.

"So instead of saying it's not going to happen on my watch, he went right ahead and let everybody get dragged through the mud," Kathy Pratt said.

And the family worries the victims 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.

Kitzhaber said he's morally opposed to capital punishment and that he's long regretted the two men who were executed during his term in the 1990s.

The Pratt family said they were prepared to speak after the execution but wanted to get their story out now.