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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Two Oregon inmates removed from death row

Associated Press

PORTLAND – The number of inmates on Oregon’s death row has been reduced by two.

To comply with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that people deemed “mentally retarded” can’t be executed, the state attorney general’s office has given 74-year-old Jesse Pratt and 53-year-old Michael McNeely life without the possibility of parole.

Pratt was convicted of sexually assaulting and killing a woman near Klamath Falls. He had been the state’s longest-serving death row inmate, having awaited execution at Oregon State Penitentiary since 1991.

McNeely had been given the death penalty for murdering a Portland woman in 1993.

An Oregon Department of Corrections spokeswoman said the pair will be moved into the general prison population in the next week.

More than 30 men remain on death row. Oregon has executed only two inmates since the Supreme Court allowed states to resume executions in 1976.