Since You Asked: Jackson County on Death Row
I know that may sound morbid, but of the prisoners awaiting execution on Oregon's Death Row, how many were prosecuted by Jackson County law enforcement? Also, how many people are currently on Death Row in Oregon?
— Brian C., Ashland
Yikes, Brian, not exactly the cheeriest question for our readers to peruse over their morning coffee.
But to answer your question, there is exactly one man put on "Death Row" by Jackson County's criminal justice system. His story is familiar to anyone who has lived in the Rogue Valley in the past 13 years.
Robert James Acremant, 39, was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 1997 for the execution-style murders of Medford residents Michelle Abdill and Roxanne Ellis. The lesbian couple's 1995 murder was feared a hate crime, grabbing national and international media attention. It later became clear it was a crime of opportunity with the motive of robbery, but his comments afterward about the pair's sexuality caused a lot of pain in the community and nationwide.
Acremant awaits his fate with 34 other doomed inmates at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem. The last person executed in Oregon was Salem's Harry Charles Moore, 11 years ago, according to a Willamette Week story published in January.