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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…

Fresh agony for British granny Lindsay Sandiford as Bali prepares to execute new batch of drug smugglers in the New Year

Lindsay Sandiford has been trying to raise money for a last-ditch appeal through Indonesia's complex legal system
Lindsay Sandiford has been trying to raise money for a last-ditch
appeal through Indonesia's complex legal system.
British drug-running grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces the prospect she will be shot in the New Year after Indonesia revealed today it was ready to execute a fresh batch of death row convicts.

The 59-year-old former legal secretary from Cheltenham is reported by jail visitors to be alarmed at the news that Indonesia has lifted its temporary ban on executions and will soon announce a list of the drug convicts who will die by firing squad in 2016.

As Mrs Sandiford has been lingering on death row in Bali's notorious Kerobokan Prison for more than three years since admitting trying to smuggle £1.6 million worth of cocaine through the holiday island's airport, observers said she would be lucky not to find her name on the next round of prisoners to die.

Mrs Sandiford has been desperately trying to raise enough money for a last-ditch appeal through Indonesia's complex legal system, but time now appears to be running out for her.

She had been told earlier this year that her execution date had been agreed upon by the authorities, but she was said to be greatly relieved to hear several weeks ago that Indonesia had decided to halt all executions 'for economic reasons'.

This was seen as putting a permanent end to the death penalty but Attorney General Prasetyo - who uses only one name - has now announced that executions will resume in the New Year.

'The executions will be implemented in 2016,' he said. 'This should become our focus. Law enforcement should keep moving ahead.'

He told the news portal Kompas that the third round of drug-runner executions should have been carried out earlier this year, but they were delayed due to economic reasons as it was feared that further executions would hinder the flow of investment into Indonesia.

This year, 14 drug convicts have been executed, among them two Australians, resulting in international condemnation and the souring of diplomatic relations with a number of countries including Australia and Brazil.

But Prasetyo said the executions had been approved by many neighbouring South East Asian countries because they considered Indonesia to be serious in the fight against drugs.

'Our neighbours appreciate our actions because drugs are our common enemy,' he said.

Mrs Sandiford, who had befriended the two Australians in jail, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran - shot by firing squad in April - described their deaths as 'brutal' and 'senseless'.


Source: MailOnline, Richard Shears, December 29, 2015

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