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Think Out Loud

Two Conversations with Gary Haugen

Pete Springer/OPB

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Only two people have ever been executed in Oregon since the death penalty was first introduced to the state in 1963. Gary Haugen wants to be next.

49-year-old Haugen has been in prison since he was 19, for the murder of his former girlfriend’s mother, Mary Archer. He was put on death row after he and Jason Brumwell murdered fellow inmate, David Polin.

Haugen insists that he wants to die and waive all future appeals. The question now is whether or not Haugen is mentally sound enough to stop the appeals process. He fired his previous attorneys after they told the judge that he was not mentally competent enough to make the decision to die.

OPB News reporter, Kristian Foden-Vencil, was able to talk to Haugen multiple times on the phone and in person at the Oregon State Penitentiary. Today we learn about the process he went through in order to speak with a Death Row inmate, and just what Haugen said.

We’ll also speak with Naseem Rakha, a journalist who covered Oregon’s last two executions.

What questions do you have for Kristian Foden-Vencil or Naseem Rakha about the process of speaking to an inmate on death row? Do you think an inmate should be able to choose the death penalty?


  • Kristian Foden-Vencil: Reporter for OPB News
  • Naseem Rakha: Journalist and author
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