SALEM, Ore. — An Oregon death row inmate and the state's governor are at the center of an unusual legal battle — the governor has granted the twice-convicted murderer a reprieve, even though the inmate did not ask for it and does not want it.
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is appealing a judge's ruling that said that he has no authority to issue a reprieve from the death penalty for Gary Haugen, a condemned inmate who has rejected the governor's attempts to keep him alive.
A Kitzhaber spokesman said the governor will file a notice of appeal on Tuesday and ask the Oregon Court of Appeals to pass it up to the state Supreme Court.
A trial-court judge in Marion County ruled last month that convicted murderer Gary Haugen must accept a reprieve for it to be valid. Haugen had been scheduled to die by lethal injection last December when Kitzhaber stepped in and blocked it.
Kitzhaber opposes capital punishment and said he won't allow any executions while he is governor.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.