MultCo DA Schmidt joins call for halt to death penalty

Multnomah County

Mike Schmidt is among 100 law enforcement officials across US calling for end

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt is among 100 law enforcement officials across the United States calling for a halt to the federal death penalty.

The plea comes as the Trump Administration is on track for a record-setting wave of federal executions during the presidential transition. After a 17-year hiatus in executing federal inmates, 8 have been put to death this year. Four men and a woman set to die before President-elect Biden is inaugurated on January 20, 2021.

Schmidt and the DAs for Deschutes County and King County (Seattle) signed on to a statement asking President Trump to commute the death sentences to life in prison.

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt on August 11, 2020 [KOIN]

“Some states don’t have it at all and some states do. And what we don’t see is any kind of a deterrent effect for the states that have it on the books versus those who don’t,” Schmidt told KOIN 6 News. “So, there’s no deterrent. And in terms of, you know, plea negotiations and leverage into getting people to admit, you know, life without the possibility of parole is a large enough hammer.

The death penalty is legal in Oregon but governors have kept a moratorium on executions since 2011. In 2018, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional because “it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner.”

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