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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…

Iran: two executions, one in public

The Iranian regime's henchmen hanged a 36-year-old father of 3 in a prison in the city of Gorgan in northern Iran.

The victim identified as Hossein Naybandani had been sentenced to death for "transferring and being in possession of drugs."

Naybandani was hanged early morning on Sunday in the main prison in Gorgan.

There has been no official information released on his execution.

Execution rates have been increasing at "an exponential rate" in Iran. Since Hassan Rouhani took office as president of the clerical regime, the rate of executions has reach its highest in 25 years.

Iran under the rule of the mullahs is the number 1 record holder for the number of executions per capita.

As Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in Iran, has pointed out, the Iranian regime "continues to execute more individuals per capita than any other country in the world."

The number of executions by the regime is much higher than those officially reported or published in state media.

Source: NCR-Iran, December 12, 2015


A Prisoner Hanged for Drug Offenses, Another Prisoner Hanged in Public

On Sunday December 6, a prisoner with alleged drug charges was reportedly hanged at Gorgan Central Prison. On Wednesday December 9, an unidentified prisoner with alleged rape charges was reportedly hanged in a public space in Mamasani, a county in the province of Fars.

According to the human rights group, HRANA, the prisoner who was hanged on Sunday is Hossein Neybandani, a 31-year old man accused of possessing and trafficking narcotics. 

Iranian official sources have been silent about Neybandani's execution.

According to the Iranian official news site Seda o Sima, the unidentified prisoner was 21 years old at the time of his execution.

Source: Iran Human Rights, December 12, 2015

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