PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Prosecutors filed a motion to take the death penalty off the table for Jeremy Christian — the man accused of stabbing 3 people, killing 2 of them on a Portland MAX train in 2017.
But the mother of one of the victims never wanted Christian to face the death penalty in the first place.
Christian was charged with 2 counts of aggravated murder and one count of attempted aggravated murder stemming from the stabbing on May 26, 2017, that left Taliesin Namkai-Meche and Ricky Best dead and a third train passenger, Micah Fletcher, badly wounded.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office filed the proposed change on Tuesday. A judge would still need to sign off on it.
In court papers, prosecutors sought to amend three charges from their original indictment to reflect changes in state law that drastically limit who is eligible for the death penalty in Oregon.
KOIN 6 News spoke with Namkai-Meche’s mother, Asha Deliverance, earlier in the year on the 2nd anniversary of the attack. She said then that “there needs to be a voice for love.”
And her focus hasn’t been shaken by this latest development.
“When somebody has an illness and they are so distorted in their thinking, that is an illness. For me, it is how to bring healing, not punishment,” she said.
Deliverance said she doesn’t believe in the death penalty and would instead like to see the courts take a restorative justice approach to Christian’s sentencing.
“If Jeremy Christian as a young child had been offered all of these options, we would not have had this problem,” she said.
Deliverance said her daughters have different opinions.
“I feel sadness for Jeremy Christian and I feel compassion. They probably feel more anxiety,” she said. “He was a big part of their life. They have different sentiments. I don’t know that any of us believe in corporal punishment but I believe that they do believe in punishment.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.