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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…

China Executes Tajik National For Drug Trafficking

Chinese police officers rehearsing execution procedure
Chinese police officers rehearsing execution procedure
Chinese authorities have executed a Tajik national convicted of drug trafficking.

Tajik Foreign Ministry officials told RFE/RL that Hasan Yusufov, 51, was executed early in the morning on January 28.

Tajik Embassy representatives were allowed to meet with Yusufov before his execution, the officials said.

Yusufov was arrested in Urumqi, the capital of China's northwestern region of Xinjiang, in 2011 and was charged with drug trafficking.

He was later found guilty and sentenced to death.

All attempts by the Tajik Embassy to overturn the death sentence were fruitless, the Foreign Ministry officials said, adding that talks were under way to bring Yusufov's body home to Tajikistan.

Tajik officials said earlier that 16 Tajik citizens were currently in China's prison system, 4 of whom are on death row while 5 are serving life terms.

Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, January 28, 2016

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