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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…

Eight Prisoners Including Woman Executed in Northern Iran

Bystanders watching a public execution in Iran (file photo)
Bystanders watching a public execution in Iran (file photo)
Three prisoners were reportedly hanged in the city of Nazarabad on drug charges. 

Four men and one woman were reportedly hanged at Tabriz Central Prison on murder and drug charges.

Iran Human Rights (JAN 7 2016): On Wednesday January 6, the Judiciary in the Iranian province of Alborz reported on the execution of three unidentified prisoners in the city of Nazarabad.

According to Mohammad Gheyomi, Nazarabad's Public Prosecutor, the prisoners were on death row on drug charges. The report does not mention the names of the prisoners, the date they were executed, or whether they were hanged in prison or in public.

On the same day, the Kurdistan Human Rights Network reported on the execution of four men and one woman at Tabriz Central Prison for murder and drug charges: a prisoner by the name of Mehdi Nasirtian was reportedly hanged on Tuesday January 5, and on Wednesday January 6, three unidentified men and one woman were hanged. 

The prisoners have been identified as: Tofigh Mohammadfar, Hossein Zadegan Eskandar, Amir Ali Zadegan Eskandar (Hossein's brother-in-law), and Zahra Nemati (Amir Ali's wife).

None of the executions on Tuesday and Wednesday at Tabriz Central Prison were reported by Iranian official sources, including the Judiciary.

Source: Iran Human Rights, January 7, 2015

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