FEATURED POST

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

Image
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…

Juvenile reportedly executed in Pakistan

Pakistan this morning [Dec. 16, 2015]  reportedly executed Saqi Shah, who was arrested and convicted when he was 16 years old.

Shah, who was sentenced to death in June 1992, had already spent 23 years in prison – 20 of which have been on death row. According to the Asian Commission for Human Rights, Shah’s birth certificate shows he was born in April 1975, making him 16 at the time of his conviction. The execution of juveniles is illegal under Pakistani and international law.

Executions in Pakistan resumed a year ago on Saturday (December 19th), after a moratorium had long been in place. Since then more than 300 people have been executed, including 5 juveniles, according to international human rights NGO Reprieve which has been tracking the executions.

Among those juveniles is Aftab Bahadur, who was 15 at the time of his arrest for a crime of which all eyewitnesses in the case said he was innocent. Faisal Mahmood, another juvenile, was also executed earlier this year, despite the fact that not even the Government's own lawyers disputed his age.

Saqi Shah's execution is at least the fifth documented execution of a juvenile prisoner executed in Pakistan this year, although given problems with birth registration in the country it is likely that the real number is far higher.

Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve’s Death Penalty team, said: “It is shocking that the Pakistani government is continuing wilfully on their course of executing person after person, day after day. It is all the more horrific that untold numbers of those being executed were convicted when they were just children – just like Saqi Shah reportedly was. The Pakistani government must put a halt to all executions so that they can fully investigate who exactly they are trying to kill.”

Source: Reprieve, December 16, 2015

- Report an error, an omission: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com - Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

New Hampshire: More than 50,000 anti-death penalty signatures delivered to Sununu

Texas: The accused Santa Fe shooter will never get the death penalty. Here’s why.

Post Mortem – the execution of Edward Earl Johnson

What Indiana officials want to keep secret about executions

Malaysian court sentences Australian grandmother to death by hanging

Ohio: Lawyers seek review of death sentence for 23-year-old Clayton man

China: Appeal of nanny's death penalty sentence wraps up

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

Texas prisons taking heat over aging execution drugs experts say could cause 'torturous' deaths

Texas executes Juan Castillo