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In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

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To cope with his dread, John Kitzhaber opened his leather-bound journal and began to write.
It was a little past 9 on the morning of Nov. 22, 2011. Gary Haugen had dropped his appeals. A Marion County judge had signed the murderer's death warrant, leaving Kitzhaber, a former emergency room doctor, to decide Haugen's fate. The 49-year-old would soon die by lethal injection if the governor didn't intervene.
Kitzhaber was exhausted, having been unable to sleep the night before, but he needed to call the families of Haugen's victims.
"I know my decision will delay the closure they need and deserve," he wrote.
The son of University of Oregon English professors, Kitzhaber began writing each day in his journal in the early 1970s. The practice helped him organize his thoughts and, on that particular morning, gather his courage.
Kitzhaber first dialed the widow of David Polin, an inmate Haugen beat and stabbed to death in 2003 while already serving a life sentence fo…

Bali Nine mule to get sentence reduction

Renae Lawrence
Renae Lawrence
Indonesian prison officials have recommended Bali Nine drug mule Renae Lawrence has a further two months cut from her sentence.

Lawrence, 37, is serving her 20-year sentence in Bali's Bangli Prison, where staff confirmed she had been put forward as one of the inmates to have their sentence reduced for good behaviour as a reward this Christmas.

Prison officials say the former Newcastle woman is focused on being a diligent prisoner, and applies herself to classes in handicrafts.

Earlier this year, Indonesia executed Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, other members of the nine young Australians who tried to smuggle drugs through Bali in 2005.

The other members are all serving life sentences and not eligible for sentence cuts.

It will be the 10th Christmas in prison for Martin Stephens, Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, Michael Czugaj, Matthew Norman, Si Yi Chen and Scott Rush.

At Kerobokan jail, a spokesman said Australian inmates Nicholas Langan and Edward Myatt had been recommended for 15 days and one month remission, respectively.

Langan, a north Queensland tradesman, is due for release next month, after serving a year in custody for smoking a joint of marijuana on a Bali beach.

Myatt, from Ballarat, Victoria, was jailed in 2012 for eight years, for smuggling methamphetamine.

Source: AAP, December 24, 2015

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