The Legislature of the state of Oregon The governor of Oregon said Tuesday that she will commute the sentences of 17 death row inmates to life in prison.

Brown, a Democrat with less than a month left in office, said she was using her executive clemency powers to commute the sentences.

"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," Brown said.

Since 1997, there has been no execution in Oregon. In her first news conference as governor, Brown said she would continue the death penalty moratorium imposed by her predecessor.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, 17 people have been put to death in the U.S. in the next five years.

Some states are moving away from capital punishment.

The governor of California imposed a moratorium on executions in the year 2019. He moved to dismantle America's largest death row within two years.

Clemency is granted by Brown in Oregon.

Brown granted clemency to over 1,000 people. The governor and other state officials were sued by two district attorneys and family members of crime victims. The court of appeals ruled that she acted within her authority.

73 people convicted of murder, assault, rape and manslaughter while they were younger than 18 were allowed to apply for early release.

Brown noted that in the past she had granted commutations to individuals who had demonstrated extraordinary growth and rehabilitation, but that assessment didn't apply in her latest decision.

The commutation is not based on any rehabilitative efforts by the individuals on death row. It shows that the death penalty is immoral. The punishment does not allow for correction.

In May 2020 it was announced that the death row at the state penitentiary in Salem would no longer be used.

There was a list of inmates with death sentences.

The Department of Correction's website has 21 names. The Oregon Supreme Court overturned the death sentence of one prisoner because the crime he committed was no longer eligible for the death penalty.

The lists were not reconciled by the governor's office and the corrections department.