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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…

Young Prisoner Hanged in Public in Northern Iran

Public execution in Iran (file photo)
Public execution in Iran (file photo)
On Monday December 14, a young prisoner was hanged in public in Noshahr (a city in the province of Mazandaran) on murder charges.

According to close sources, the prisoner's name is Milad Khodavardi and he was arrested in 2012 for allegedly murdering a woman by the name of Mehri Mallamiri. 

A source who has asked to be annonymous claims that Khodavardi was under the age of 18 at the time of the murder.

Iranian state run media, IRNA, quoting Ali Akbar Alizadeh, the Public Prosecutor of Noshahr, has confirmed the execution. 

According to IRNA, Khodavardi was 20 years old when Iranian authorities executed him.

Iran is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child, which states that the death penalty shall not be issued to individuals under the age of 18 at the time of their crime. 

Khodavardi's death sentence was reportedly confirmed by Iran's Supreme Court before the execution was carried out.

IHR was able to obtain a photo of Khodavardi after he was hanged to death.

Source: Iran Human Rights, December 14, 2015

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