17 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. [i] (2013)

handle is hein.journals/lewclr17 and id is 1 raw text is: Lewis & Clark
Law Review
VOLUME 17                       2013                      NUMBER I
ARTICLES
Oregon's Death Penalty: The Practical Reality
Aliza B. Kaplan       .................................   .............. 1
In November 2011, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber declared a mora-
torium on the Oregon death penalty, calling it a system that is com-
promised and inequitable and fails to meet basic standards ofjustice.
With Governor Kitzhaber's refusal to allow any further executions un-
der his watch, Oregon became one of the most recent states to with-
draw from the death penalty. Indeed, Governor Kitzhaber's statement
recognized the practical and financial difficulties with, and ultimately
the unjustness of, Oregon's death-penalty system and, as such, called on
Oregonians to discover a better alternative.
In this Article, Professor Kaplan examines Oregon's lengthy and dys-
functional death-penalty system and the practical realities that make it
so problematic. The discussion analyzes the history of Oregon's death
penalty; the serious and prevalent issue of wrongful convictions across
the country (including Oregon); the extraordinary taxpayer costs asso-
ciated with maintaining the death penalty in Oregon, where only two
people-both of whom were volunteers-have been executed; and the
changes in state law and death penalty jurisprudence that have slowed
the administration of Oregon's death penalty to render it ineffective.
Professor Kaplan argues that, given these practical concerns, the Ore-
gon death penalty, as it currently stands, is in serious need of examina-
tion from a public policy standpoint to ensure that cost, effectiveness,
and time, are given proper consideration. To do this, she recommends
that Governor Kitzhaber designate a non-partisan committee to study
Oregon's death penalty as it currently stands and report its findings.
Professor Kaplan concludes that a comprehensive committee report on
Oregon's death penalty will ultimately allow Oregonians to decide
whether to maintain or abolish the death penalty.
A Family Affair? Domestic Relations and Involuntary Public Figure Status
Mark P Strasser........................................... 69
Public figures seeking defamation damages have a higher burden to
meet than do private individuals. Because claims of defamation by pub-
lic figures can raise free speech concerns, courts have developed consti-
tutional limitations on defamation damages in certain situations. Over
the past 50 years, the Supreme Court has neither agreed on a clear
method by which to determine who counts as a public figure nor on
how to apply those criteria that have been suggested. This lack of clarity
has led to confusion and inconsistency in the lower courts. The concept
of the involuntary public figure illustrates the problem.

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