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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…

Pakistan: 2 brothers acquitted in abduction, murder case; Army Chief signs death warrants of 4 terrorists

A division bench of the Lahore High Court Tuesday acquitted 2 real brothers- Ali Abbas and Nadeem Abbas- who were convicted for killing a woman after abduction.

The bench comprising Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed and Justice Ch Mushtaq Ahmad acquitted the convicts while accepting their appeals against the sentence.

During the course of proceedings, the defendants' counsel submitted that there was no solid evidence which showed that the convicts were responsible for or associated with the murder. He pleaded the bench to acquit them after setting aside their death sentence.

In 2011, an addition district and sessions judge had awarded death penalty to Ali Abbas and Nadeem Abbas for kidnapping Naseem Sharif, wife of late brigadier Muhammad Sharif and killing her after getting signatures on the property documents.

Army Chief has signed the deaths warrants of Murad Khan s/o Sarfraz Khan, Inayatullah s/o Khakhay Khan, Israruddin alias Abu LASE S/O Hussain Ahmad and Noor Saeed alias Hafiz Saheb s/o Muhammad Saeed.

The army chief today endorsed the sentencing of these terrorists.

The ISPR said the convicts were involved in manslaughter, suicide bombing, abduction for ransom, funding terrorist organisations and causing colossal damage to life and property.

More than 300 death convicts have been sent to the gallows in the country after the government lifted a six-year moratorium on death penalty in the wake of the attack on Peshawar's Army Public School in December last year which left 150 people dead, majority schoolchildren.

Last week, the warrants of Maulvi Abdus Salam, Hazrat Ali, Mujeebur Rehman and Sabeel alias Yahya were signed by the army chief, and they were hanged days later in a Kohat jail.

Source: Pakistan Today, nanonews.org, December 9, 2015

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