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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…

Five suspects face death for armed raid in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Manama: Saudi Arabia’s prosecution has requested the death penalty for five suspects, four Saudis and one Yemeni, who raided a commercial complex in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

Investigations revealed that the five suspects plotted an armed attack on the commercial facility after they learned that there were 1.5 million Saudi riyals kept inside the safe.

Two members of the gang, one of them wearing a military uniform, led the attack carrying guns, while the others monitored the place, searched the shoppers and the employees in the shop and took their mobiles and money, Saudi daily Okaz reported.

Witnesses said the attack was carried out at noon when the shops were about to close for prayers and that the gang held 10 shopkeepers hostage.

The gang members told them the action was part of an anti-money laundering operation for the general intelligence service and ordered them not to resist them and to obey their commands.

The gang eventually escaped with 400,000 Saudi riyals which they later shared, investigations revealed.

The police relied on fingerprints and on the footage recorded by the surveillance to arrest the gang members.

Source: Gulf News, December 26, 2015

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