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Governor Commutes 17 On Death Row To Life In Prison

Governor Kate Brown announced that she will use her executive clemency powers to commute the sentences of the 17 individuals on Oregon’s death row to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. “I have long believed that justice is not advanced by taking a life, and the state should not be in the business of executing people—even if a terrible crime placed them in prison."

"My action today is consistent with the near abolition of the death penalty that has been achieved through SB 1013." “I also recognize the pain and uncertainty victims experience as they wait for decades while individuals sit on death row—especially in states with moratoriums on executions—without resolution. My hope is that this commutation will bring us a significant step closer to finality in these cases.”

One of the 17 who is going from Death Row to life in prison is Christian Michael Longo, who was sentenced to death after being found guilty in 2003 for the murder of his wife and three children in Lincoln County. The body of four-year-old Zachary Longo was found on December 19, 2001, in the Alsea River. Divers located the body of three-year-old Sadie on December 22, Also in the Alsea.

27-year-old Mary Jane and their two-year-old daughter Madison were found five days later. Mary Jane had been stuffed in suitcases found in the water in Yaquina Bay near a ramp at Embarcadero Marina in Newport on December 27, 2001. Madison was found inside a different suitcase the same day. The Governors order takes effect December 14, 2022. The Governor’s order takes effect December 14, 2022.

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