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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74971 Find in a Library
Title: Death Penalty Referendum in Oregon, 1964 - Some Notes from a Participant-Observer
Journal: Crime and Delinquency  Volume:26  Issue:4  Dated:(October 1980)  Pages:528-536
Author(s): H A Bedau
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 9
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An account of the successful 1964 referendum to abolish the death penalty in Oregon illustrates the abolitionist movement's greatest success and the campaign leading up to the victory.
Abstract: The strategy adopted by the Oregon Council to Abolish the Death Penalty included organizing a statewide abolition group; mobilizing support from allied organizations; designing a mass media campaign, especially for the populous region around Portland; and arranging radio and television discussions and spot announcements late in the campaign. Other strategies included preparing research papers on the death penalty for use as press releases and speakers' notes, holding a national conference at a local college, and encouraging sermons in the churches statewide to explore the religious and moral aspects of the death penalty. Opposition to the council's activities was infrequent and unorganized, yet the campaign's success remains difficult to explain. Defeat of the death penalty at the polls in that particular election was probably owing to an unusual combination of factors, making it difficult if not impossible to duplicate the results elsewhere. For example, victory at the polls may have been helped by the timing of the election (held during a presidential election), the growing number of young voters, and the concentration of funds in the State's most populous county. Footnotes are included. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Oregon; Political influences; Referendums
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