Oregon State Bar Bulletin — AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011

Fighting to Get Off Death Row

No good deed goes unpunished.

That’s what Oregon death row inmate Gary Haugen’s now-former lawyers, Andy Simrin of Portland and W. Keith Goody of Washington, discovered when they fought Haugen’s request to be executed on the grounds that a psychologist had found him to be lacking the mental capacity to make that decision.

Haugen, in turn, sought to have Simrin and Goody removed from his case.

As it turned out, all three men got their wishes. Simrin and Goody were removed and replaced with veteran public defender Greg Scholl, who is head of Metropolitan Public Defender Services, Inc.’s Washington County Office. And on Aug. 23, Haugen was examined at the Oregon State Penitentiary by another psychologist, Richard Hulteng of Portland.

Hulteng, who was selected by the state, was charged with assessing Haugen’s capacity to “engage in reasoned choices of legal strategies and options” in a June order from the Oregon Supreme Court that blocked Haugen’s planned Aug. 16 execution. Hulteng’s report was expected to take two weeks, and a hearing on whether he is competent to waive his appeals is scheduled for Sept. 27.

Haugen twice has been convicted of murder, first for the 1981 death of his former girlfriend’s mother, then again for the 2003 murder of a fellow inmate. Haugen, who had been serving a life sentence on the first murder, was transferred to death row in 2007, after he was sentenced to death for killing the inmate.

Janine Robben 

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