As Washington Scraps Death Penalty, Gubernatorial Candidate Knute Buehler Pledges To Bring Executions Back To Oregon

“I will follow the desires of the voters of Oregon,” he said.

On Thursday, the Washington Supreme Court struck down the state's death penalty law.

Two days prior, Oregon gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler promised, if elected, to start executing people on death row in this state for the first time in 21 years.

In the last debate of the campaign, Buehler said he intends to bring back executions.

"I will follow the desires of the voters of Oregon," he said. "And I will enforce the death penalty."

There hasn't been an execution in Oregon since 1997. Former Gov. John Kitzaber issued a moratorium on enforcing the death penalty in 2011, just before a man was scheduled to die by lethal injection.

Gov. Kate Brown has maintained the policy and refused to execute any of the 33 inmates on death row. If re-elected, Brown says she would not allow any executions to move forward.

The Washington Supreme Court struck down that state's death penalty law, citing racial disparities among the men and women sentenced to die. Washington is the 20th state to bar capital punishment.